Five Key Tips for Boat Maintenance

April 13, 2018 5:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you do not maintain your boat, you will likely be paying for extensive repairs and boat service in Lewiston, CA in the future. Trinity Alps Marina sees many cases of neglect in our shop, and most situations could have been avoided with good boat care. Here are five maintenance tips to keep your boat water-ready for many years of recreation:

  • Remove salt: One of the simplest ways to avoid damage to your boat is to keep it clean. If you just finished a cruise on the ocean, hose off the hull to remove the salt residue that corrodes surfaces. Besides eating up your hull, salt can also disintegrate metal, fasteners and other hardware that keeps your vessel seaworthy.
  • Use the right soaps: Sometimes, a long ocean cruise or muddy waters make it necessary to give your boat a good scrub. Use a soft-bristle boat brush; supplies used for cars may be too strong and compromise the gel coat. Marine-certified boat wash is your best option for these big cleaning jobs, but car wash soap is preferable to most corrosive cleaners. Gentle laundry detergent mixed with water works well if you have nothing else. Just do not make a habit of it, since it may eventually corrode the gel coat and other treatments on your hull surface.
  • Change the oil: There are people who never skip an oil change in their car who neglect the same on their boats. This is not a good habit, and could kill your engine. Unfortunately, there are no quick-change oil shops for boats as there are for cars, which is why many normally knowledgeable people often skip this procedure. Change your boat’s oil every 100 hours, or at least once a year, to keep it running well.
  • Learn basic maintenance: The good news with marine oil changes is that it is easy enough to do it yourself. All you need is an inexpensive oil extractor pump, plenty of old rags and an oil wrench. Warm up the engine first, then use the pump to remove the old oil. Replace the oil filter and top off the reservoir. This is the basic process, but boat models may vary. Check your manual to see all the steps.
  • Inspect the propeller: Propeller issues shorten the life of your boat. Inspect it as part of your pre-launch routine. Check for nicks, dents and other damage—especially if you had a jarring event recently. Even the smallest dent can affect performance and lead your engine to burn oil. When you take your boat in for service, have them check the gear box, too, since propeller damage causes vibrations that often reduce your fluid levels and stress your engine. Also, fishing line often gets caught in propellers and needs to be removed so you can avoid engine trouble.

If you need reliable boat service in Lewiston, CA, visit Trinity Alps Marina. We sell parts and supplies to help you maintain your boat, or you can make a maintenance or repair appointment and have our experts address your concerns.

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