Caring for your boat is essential to ensure its longevity, performance, and driver safety on the water. Proper maintenance and attention to detail can save you from costly repairs and extend the life of your boat. Whether you’re a seasoned boat owner or new to boating, here are five important tips to help you care for your boat.

5 Tips to Help You Care for Your Boat

1. Regular Cleaning

Whether you love to ride around on the ocean waves in your boat or are a fan of freshwater boating, it is essential that you clean the exterior and the interior of your boat regularly. Boats are exposed to all types of elements that can mar the finish on the boat. Regular cleaning is not only for aesthetics, it is for the safety of your boat.

Algae, debris, sand, and saltwater can all be corrosive, which can cause driver safety issues in the water. Cleaning your boat weekly can help you avoid problems and ensure you stay safe on the water. Clean the interior and the exterior to extend the life of your boat.

2. Engine Maintenance

Your boat’s engine needs regular maintenance. A reliable engine enhances driver safety in the water. Change the engine oil and oil filter regularly as recommended by the manufacturer. This helps ensure proper lubrication of the moving parts and reduces the risk of severe engine damage.

Check and replace the fuel filters as necessary to ensure a clean fuel supply and prevent clogs. Inspect the belts, hoses, and connections for any signs of wear or leaks. Replace any worn-out or damaged components promptly. For saltwater, boats flush the engine with fresh water after each use to remove salt, sand, and other contaminants that can cause corrosion and damage.

3. Store Your Boat Properly

Ensure you are storing your boat properly during the off-season. Some people choose to have a boat lift installed on their dock to lift the boat out of the water instead of pulling it out of the water. According to Lake Homes Realty, you can expect to pay between $5,000-$10,000 for a boat lift, but it is well worth the investment.

Before storing your boat for the winter, ensure you winterize the boat by draining any fuel and removing the battery. You can also protect the exterior of the boat by using a polish or wax. Make sure your boat is covered.

4. Regular Inspections

Each time you board the boat, ensure that you inspect the boat before you take it out. Check gauges to ensure they are all working. Check the electrical system to ensure it is working properly. Driver safety on board highly depends on all systems and components of the boat functioning as they should.

Test all the lights on the boat before leaving the dock. It is essential that all the equipment on the boat is functional. If you notice a problem or have a concern, it’s best not to take the boat out until the problem has been fixed.

5. Bilge Pump Care

If your boat has an onboard motor, it’s likely that it is outfitted with a bilge pump. Enough cannot be said about caring for your bilge pump. Always be sure to set it to manual when your boat is docked. Always be sure to check connections and ensure that the battery is fully charged. More than one boat has sunk because of a faulty bilge pump.

Bilge pumps are sump pumps like you find in basements. According to Ipropertymanagement, about 98% of basements experience water problems and damage. Bilge pumps, like basement sump pumps, cut on when water is detected in the bilge, protecting your engine.

Caring for your boat will enhance driver safety and extend the life of your boat. Do your part, and remember, don’t drink and drive on land or on water. According to the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Game, the Super Drunk Law (driving with a BAC of .17 or higher) applies to boat drivers. Learn more tips for boating driver safety and boat care today.