Boater Education
Tips for Boaters

Maintenance Tips

As with everything, if properly maintained your boat will provide years of enjoyment. Following are a few simple ways to keep your boat "ship-shape".

Seats

The day you get your new boat, protect the seats with a vinyl protectant. Do not spray product directly on the seats, rather spray it on a clean cloth and wipe it evenly over all seating areas exposed to the sun. Routinely cleaning and protecting vinyl will keep it from cracking and fading over time.

Hull

The hull of the boat should be waxed every season; twice a year if it is used year round. 3M makes a great buffing compound that is applied with a buffer will make an older boat look like new.

Don't forget to buff the deck of the boat. Most sun fading can be seen on the deck of the boat verses the sides and bottom.

Bottom Paint

Large boats left in the water for a period of time should be bottom painted. Bottom paint protects a boat's bottom from growth, barnacles and zebra mussels.

Once bottom painted, you will need to have your boat's bottom painted every two to three years, (maybe sooner depending on the use). If you hire someone to paint the boat, make sure the service includes stripping off the old paint layers and cleaning the bottom before it's repainted..

Engine

Whether you have an outboard, inboard or stern drive, a properly maintained engine can save you time, money and improve your fuel efficiency.

Changing your oil regularly (once a season or more for year round users) can add years to the life of your engine. Changing fuel filters, sea strainers and other filters will also add years to your engine's life.

Lower Units / Drive Shafts

Drive shafts are used on inboard applications. Shaft packing is used to seal the drive shaft when going through the hull of the boat. Sometimes this packing wears down, which can cause leaks. However, don't mistake a wet shaft packing for a leaking boat.

Stern drives should be removed once a season or twice a year depending whether you use the boat all year round.

Once removed, the U-joints need to be lubed and the gear lube in the lower unit should be changed. You should also change the water pump impeller once a year to avoid possibly overheating your engine.

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