Boat Preventive Maintenance
Keeping your boat in good working order is just as much a part of the boating experience as the boating itself. When a pleasure craft functions properly, breakdown probabilities are minimized.
You should get in the habit of not only inspecting and checking all the engine components and fluids each and every time you go boating, but also doing periodic maintenance.
Engine/Running Gear maintenance tips include:
- Change oil frequently - following manufacturer's minimum recommendations or once each season.
- Check and replace any belts or hoses that appear to be deteriorating.
- Check for oil and/or water leaks every time before leaving the dock.
- Flush your engine with fresh water after operating in salt water.
- Check impellers and pumps to anticipate a failure.
- Watch for the beginning of corrosion, especially on battery terminals, and take measures to stop it before it becomes a problem. Clean battery terminals and electrical connections by disconnecting them and removing corrosion with a wire brush.
- Check and service transmissions and lower units according to manufacturer's recommendations.
- Change fluids on a recommended schedule or at least once each season.
- Keep shafts and props in clean and good working order.
- Check all through-hull fittings for leakage and corrosion. Make sure that their valves are operational and can be opened and closed.
- Check the condition of the navigation lights.
- Check and clean the engine’s back-fire flame arrestor.
- Clean and tighten any corroded or loose electrical connections.
- Check all water strainers to make sure that they are clean and free of debris.
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