No boat owner wants their prized possession to stop working. Keep your boat in top condition by handling any maintenance so that the high season is filled with boating … and more boating. Neglecting your boat maintenance will often result in poor performance at the time you need it most. Let’s look at a few easy maintenance tasks that you can undertake during the off-season.
REGULAR BOAT MAINTENANCE
• Lubricate all hinges, clips and moving fittings on your boat.
• Check your marine batteries and top up where necessary. Don’t forget to clean the battery terminals and check the connections.
• Inspect the hull for cracks and chips and repair where necessary.
• Replace sacrificial anodes that have deteriorated or that are corroded.
• Test the bilge pump floats and clean out any debris that may be blocking their movement.
• Make sure your supply of spare fuses is well stocked and check all fuses and breakers.
• Test all the electronic components on the boat to ensure they are working correctly and update any that need software updates.
• Check all the safety equipment such as expiry of fl ares and life jackets to ensure they are in good working order.
• Check the first aid kit and restock it if any of the items have been used.
• Check your onboard tool kit to ensure that you have all the required tools for repairs.
• Inspect and clean the onboard fuel/ water separator.
• Replace the lower unit gear case oil and replace the gaskets.
• Inspect the fuel lines for cracking and wear and replace where at all necessary.
• Test the primer bulb and check for cracking.
• Grease steering cable and tilt tube on rotary steerig systems.
• Bleed the hydraulic steering system if necessary.
• Check the power trim fluid levels and top up where required.
• Inspect the propeller for damage and alignment. If there is damage showing, no matter how small, send it to the boat shop for repair and realignment.
• Grease the prop shaft spline and remove any fishing line that may have got caught behind the prop. Check the prop shaft seal for any resulting damage.
• Check the trailer lights. Replace cracked lenses and faulty bulbs.
• Replace corroded connections and brittle, damaged wiring.
• Inspect the trailer brakes, wheel hubs and axle. Add grease where necessary or overhaul the hub if there is wear or corrosion.
• Inspect and replace the wheel bearings if they are noisy. Check the tyre pressures and check for uneven tyre wear.
• Tighten any loose bolts holding the trailer bunks.
• Inspect the winch and straps and replace any straps that are worn.