The number of recreational boats in the U.S has skyrocketed to more than 12 million purchases in 2019 alone. Owning a boat is a dream for many. But after the initial honeymoon, ownership does come with its fair share of headaches.
Unfortunately, many inexperienced boaters make common boat maintenance mistakes, often putting themselves and their loved ones at risk. These mistakes can damage your boat and won’t withstand light use in the long run.
Here are some of the boat maintenance mistakes you must avoid regarding your new boat.
1. Failing to Maintain the Boat Hull
New owners make a common boat maintenance mistake: failing to maintain the boat hull properly and postponing repairing boat damage. This can lead to several problems, including decreased performance, fuel deficiency, and even structural damage.
The hull is an integral part of the boat, so keeping it in good condition is essential. Regular cleaning and waxing as part of your boat maintenance routine will help protect the hull.
2. Not Inspecting Your Engine’s Condition
This can lead to many problems, including engine failure. To avoid this, it is vital to inspect your engine regularly and have it serviced by a qualified technician at least once a year.
Failure to do so can result in serious engine problems. Other common mistakes include not changing the oil regularly and not checking the coolant levels.
3. Ignoring the Boat’s Propeller
Over time, the propeller will become encrusted with barnacles and other marine growth, which can reduce its efficiency and cause damage to the boat. It’s essential to clean the propeller regularly and have it inspected and serviced by a professional if necessary.
Deck maintenance is also essential to keeping your boat in good condition. Be sure to clean and inspect them regularly. If you plan to add boat features during maintenance, such as a lillipad diving board, it is also essential to position it away from the propellers to avoid accidents.
4. Not Paying Attention to the Boat’s Batteries
Batteries are essential for starting the engine, running accessories, and providing power in an emergency. Over time, batteries will naturally lose their charge and need to be replaced during regular boat inspections.
It’s essential to keep an eye on your batteries and ensure they are always adequately charged. If you let your batteries run too low, they will be damaged and will need to be replaced sooner.
5. Overlooking the Boat’s Cleanliness
Like a car, your boat needs to be cleaned regularly to maintain its appearance and prevent long-term damage. Neglecting to clean your boat can lead to oxidation, mildew, and other structural damage.
Make sure to hose down your boat after every use and give it a thorough cleaning on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Having boat cleaning supplies on your checklist will help you address problems along the way.
Avoid These Common Boat Maintenance Mistakes Immediately
New owners should avoid a few common boat maintenance mistakes to keep their boat in tip-top shape. Failing to regularly clean and wax the hull can lead to severe long-term damage. And finally, neglecting to check your boat’s engine oil level can cause serious engine problems.
By being aware of these potential pitfalls and avoiding them, new boat owners can keep their boats in excellent condition for many years.
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