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Boat Maintenance Guide For All Boaters

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The Boat Man

Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 8
Location: Perth Australia

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 8:53 am    Post subject: Boat Maintenance Guide For All Boaters Reply with quote

A properly maintained vessel is the basis for safety at sea. Are you conducting a regular maintenance and servicing schedule to ensure you and your friends and family's safety at sea? Poorly maintained vessels often result in problems at sea which can be disasterous. Below are 10 top maintenance tips that all boat users should constasntly monitor to ensure the safety of their vessel and their crew.

1) Service your engine at least once a year. If possible you should follow the manufacturers guidelines as to when to service your motor, but at the bare minimum ensure it is done on a yearly basis.

2) Check the water pump from your motor regularly to ensure a strong discharge. Once again the pump should be changed once a year but consider doing this more often if you use your boat in murky water or shallow areas.

3) Check your battery around 4 times a year. Batteries cause the most headaches for boat users. Skippers need to ensure they use a certified marine battery (not a car battery). Battery cells need to be topped up with distilled water whenever the levels get low. Battery connections must be kept clean, tight and secure. The battery should be well ventilated, secure and regularly charged.

4) Spark plugs should be changed with your engine service. Carry spare plugs with you so if you need to change them whilst you are out at sea you can. Remember to bring a correct size spanner as well.

5) Check fuel lines at least 4 times a year. Look for leaking hoses, corrosion, dirt and any other warning signs. If you have a problem get it fixed immediately by a professional. Fuel filters should be changed 1 to 2 times a year. Keep your tanks topped up (especially over periods where you will not be using your boat) as this will reduce condensation forming in the tank. If you have external fuel tanks you should consider washing them out at least once a year.

6) Check your oil 3-4 times a year. You can access your oil via a drain screw in the gear case (refer to your owners manual for exact directions). If the oil runs milky it is time to get the engine serviced and the oil changed.

7) Check your propellor for damage or rubbish. Fishing line can often get stuck around the shaft and cause water to leak in so remove it as soon as this happens. Consider carrying an old propellor with you so if you run into trouble you can swap it over. Remember to carry a second shear pin as well rather than trying to re-insert the old one.

Cool Check the hull for any visible signs of damage. Look for any unexpected scratches and dents and look inside the boat for water leaks. Make sure the bung plugs still fit securely and check that the navigation lights and bilge pumps are working correctly.

9) Monitor the trailer frequently as well as the boat. Have a quick scan of the trailer immediately after launching your boat. Check that the rollers are in good condition, winch cable is secure, lights working and that corrosion is minimal.

10) Finally be sure to check all joints and connection to keep them secure. You should do a boat walk through (inside and out) about 3-4 times a year to look for normal wear and tear and to keep a general eye out for problems. Also check all ropes for wear and tear or damage. Catching problems early ensures your safety and ultimately will save you money down the track.

Ongoing maintenance is the responsibility of the skipper. Constant vigilance ensures safe boating and keeps repair costs to a minimum. So keep up with the above 10 top tips and enjoy many years of safe hassle free boating.
James Fletcher is a boating and fishing enthusiast. His website is a great source of boating and fishing knowledge. Find more usefull boating and fishing tips at:
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Captain Walker
Site Admin

Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 8:56 am    Post subject: Boat Maintenance Guide For All Boaters Reply with quote

Outstanding recommendations.

It is boating season here in the northern latitudes. Even though it is no longer spring, a maintenance checklist can help you give your boat a good going over.

Sailboat Preparation Checklist

Powerboat Preparation Checklist

The above lists also come in handy when you buy - or look at - a new boat!
Captain David Walker

Moderator, Boaters Line Moderator
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