Boat maintenance might be a boring task for some, but it is one of the most important tasks. In fact, your boat’s lifespan depends on it. While the practice sounds tedious, it does not have to be. In this article, we are going to cover some important tips on how to maintain your boat and keep it healthy.

Owning a Boat: What is it like?

Having a boat is indeed exciting in nature. However, we must remember the other side of it. Your boat is like any other object. If you really value it, if you really care about it, then you have to look after it to keep it healthy.

Take care of your boat and your boat will take care of your safety!

In fact, improper maintenance is one of the prime causes of severe accidents offshore. Thus, be safe, and keep your boat healthy. Let’s see how!

How to Maintain Your Boat and Keep it Healthy?

So, how to maintain your boat and keep it healthy? Let’s see these four utmost important tips for keeping your boat in a healthy condition.

a. Keeping your boat clean

Keep your boat’s interiors clean so that it reduces the risk of unwanted microorganisms or bugs inside your boat. Did you know that termites can absolutely infest and wreck your boat over time? Not only that, but a dirty boat can also create problems like slipping, unpleasant odours, bug infestations and so on.

Therefore, it is really a good idea to keep your boat clean and in tip-top condition. Use a biodegradable soap like this one to wash your boat thoroughly. Be environmentally conscious!

The floorboards should be clean and free of infestations. Remove all the dirty stains thoroughly. If you have carpets on the floor, make sure to clean under them as well. As for the carpets and other seats or surfaces, you may use a vacuum cleaner.

Remember, most boats have an onboard drainage system. So don’t hold back when you wash and clean your boat. Just make sure you do have the system installed, though!

b. Engine Maintenance

The engine is the heart of your boat. Even if your navigation system fails, you can still try to find a way as long as you have charts and your engine’s running. But if your engine fails, it becomes a critical issue. So, it is really important to take care of your engine.

So how do you maintain the engine? Each boat is different and so is the engine. Keeping it oiled and well-maintained will always be your top priority.

Check the oil levels, and make sure it is sufficient. You should change your oil once every 100 running hours or so for ideal performance. However, we understand that it could sound hectic and unrealistic for many. Hence, we would suggest an oil change once every 6 months to 1 year, at least. Remember, a healthier engine means fewer chances of failure.

Apart from that, check fuel channels for leaks and oil leakage, and make sure all the moving parts are greased properly. Furthermore, don’t forget to secure the engine and other parts. Constant use of your boat may loosen the screws or tighten the moving joints. Last but not least, clean your propellers and eliminate any garbage or other microorganisms like algae stuck to them.

There are many videos on YouTube like this one by Confidence Sailing to help you understand how engine maintenance works.

c. Don’t forget the propellers

Propellers are probably one of the most delicate and important parts of your boat. Without them, you simply will not be able to manoeuvre. Propellers (and hulls) are prone to take damage from reefs, shoals, and other drifting debris. The best way to avoid such damage is by avoiding these areas.

It is always a good idea to check the blade conditions for any signs of damage. Make sure the prop is secured properly to the shaft and that the shaft is well-greased and coated with anti-corrosive material.

d. Keeping the Hull Healthy

Periodic hull cleaning is one of the necessary parts of boat maintenance. It is the exterior of your boat that submerges in the water. Which means hull damage will actually jeopardize life on your vessel. Always be on the lookout for any signs of hull damage during maintenance and make sure to get it repaired the moment you see anything odd.

Apart from that, there are creatures like mussels or barnacles that can attach to your hull. These living beings, along with algae growing on your hull may damage the quality and durability if left unchecked for a long time. Hence, it is essential to clean the hull once in a while.

Last Words

Periodic maintenance of your boat is utterly important. The more you use your vessel, the more periodic it has to be. Hopefully, these important tips on how to maintain your boat healthy and clean will come in handy. Also, make sure to always consult with an expert in case you find maintaining the boat or the engine too difficult. Always ask for help in the event of uncertainty.

If you are looking for boating-related courses or a license, feel free to reach out to us. Sail and Power SA is a SAMSA-accredited training institute in Cape Town, SA. We will be happy to assist you in any way possible.