Essential Tips & Things to Watch Out For
Whether you own a pontoon, a deck boat, or a runabout, here are some tips to maintain your boat and avoid trouble. Your boat will last longer and give you the most enjoyment every time you go out.
Inspect Your Engine Regularly
Always keep a close eye on your boat’s engine. It’s the most critical component of your boat and you should routinely inspect it so you can enjoy trouble-free time on the water.
- Check the oil. Low oil levels - or worse, no oil - are a quick path to serious engine problems. Refer to your engine’s manual to know what kind of oil to use and how often to change it. With today’s engine designs, it’s usually easy to do, and you’ll save yourself an expensive repair or replacement
- Inspect all hoses and lines for leaks and wear, especially fuel lines
- Check for oil or fuel leaks. If you notice anything suspicious, let our service technicians know and we’ll be happy to check it
- Lubricate all moving parts with an anti-corrosive lubricant
- Check engine clamps for corrosion. Be sure they’re secure
Flush Your Engine Frequently
Keeping your engine clean is important. You may even want to do it after every outing. A clean engine means longer life and better performance.
- Salt, sand, muck, and other deposits can build up and damage your engine’s internal components
- Most modern outboard engines have built-in freshwater flushing systems and the process is usually pretty simple
- If your engine doesn’t have a flushing system built in, you can use a motor flusher
Check Your Prop Regularly
You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of the lake only to discover your propeller is loose, bent, or missing.
- Be sure the prop nut and cotter pin are secure. Check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s specifications
- Check your prop for bent blades, nicks, or dings. These things can affect how your boat performs on the water. Avoid hitting rocks or scraping the bottom as these or any hard objects can damage your prop, your prop shaft, and more
- Check the prop shaft for entangled fishing lines or other debris. You may not notice any performance problems initially, but these things can lead to real issues later
- Be sure your prop shaft is properly greased. This will prevent the prop from corroding on the shaft
Keep Your Boat’s Interior Clean
You don’t want to lose the better part of a day on the water cleaning out mold, mildew, dirt, and clutter. If you get in the habit of doing a few simple things every time you go out, you’ll spend more time on the water.
- Clean storage compartments and livewells with a good, biodegradable solution
- Vacuum dry storage areas to get rid of dirt, sand, silt, and other debris
- Store gear and lines securely and neatly in the gunnel compartments with nothing protruding
Don’t forget to check the small stuff!
- Make Sure The Running Lights Are Working
These lights are required, especially for nighttime boating
- Replace any lights that aren’t working
- Don’t boat at night without them. You’ll risk a costly citation and a serious accident
- Check That All Rails Are Secure
- Loose rails may break if someone leans against them and cause an injury
- Tighten, fix, or replace them immediately as needed
- Make Sure All Lines and Fenders Are In Good Shape
Whether securing your boat at your dock or to another boat, protective fenders and strong lines are indispensable.
- Make sure you have more than enough fenders and that they’re not torn or flaccid/li>
- Be sure your lines aren’t frayed or torn and ready to break