boat maintenance for dummies
Modern fuel can begin to deteriorate and oxidize in as little as 15 days. When a boat passes over the line it can become tangled in the prop. I wrote an article called Everything you need to know for winterizing a boat, that I am sure you’ll find helpful. Here are some things you should keep an eye out for: Clean the interior of the boat: The interior of the ship can accumulate dirt, mold, and mildew very quickly. While you are checking the battery, also take a look at the connections and make sure there is no corrosion. This is very stressful on the engine oil, so it’s a good idea to check your outboard or sterndrive engine oil level before every outing. While it idles, clean, fresh water will be pumped through the engine. Maintenance Cut costs by washing your boat with fresh water after each use. Make sure there are no cracks in the side walls. Far fewer passengers and non-passengers would have drowned during the Titanic’s sinking if the ship had carried enough lifeboats. Salt that is left too long will begin to corrode metal, fasteners, and any other hardware. Never use E15 (sometimes called Unleaded 88) or E85 fuel in a boat—it is absolutely NOT approved for use in marine engines. Check that the battery cables are tight on the battery terminals. The battery is one component you do not want to ignore. Basic Boat Maintenance Tips Fill bucket 3/4 full with fresh, clean water. A regular lead-acid battery will typically last about 3 to 5 years. Turn it off, remove the drain plug, drain the old oil, change the filter, replace the drain plug and fill the engine with new oil. Check to make sure everything is working correctly. Remove the plug on the easy hose adaptor. This can be very bad news—if the seal fails water can enter the gearcase and cause expensive damage. Bass Boats are traditionally outboard boats and some have a trolling motor, which allows you to cruise at a very slow and consistent pace. I could really use help with some step-by-step maintenance in the engine compartment: When washing/flushing the boat after a salt-water ride, I flush the engine with Salt-Away (and wash the whole boat with it), but I've seen people recommend doing the engine compartment also, either with Salt-Away or simply rinsing everything down with fresh water. Speanut also participates in affiliate programs with Clickbank, CJ, and other sites. Turn off the fresh water supply, and remove the hose from the water intake. Large boats – Have handler release winch and guide boat as you float boat off trailer. Look for a nearby harbor and fix it as soon as you can before things go out of control. Take a soft dry cloth and wipe the seat down rubbing in the protector. With two-stroke outboard motor maintenance, you need to regularly fill the oil-injection reservoir with TC-W3 oil, and periodically clean the filter screen. Today’s boat wiring is one of the most difficult problems you’ll run across due to requirements of the numerous accessories.
For the last several weeks, I have been chasing a problem that has been causing me to lose sleep at night. Check the wheel hubs lubricant level and refill when necessary. If the battery that is not secured it could bounce around as you pound through the chop, abuse that will shorten its life. The diesel engine fuel-injection system includes components with tolerances measured in microns. If you do find a fishing line wrapped around the shaft, you should take the motor to a dealer and have them inspect the gear-case, because a fishing line can cause gear-case leaks, which is not a job you should try doing on your own. Use a soft dry cloth to wipe down and dry the seats. Check electrical lines: Electrical lines are another thing that will wear down over time if not properly cared for. Before every outing check the battery (or batteries). © 2020 National Marine Manufacturers Association. They are usually aluminum or fiberglass. In a lot of ways, it’s a lot easier than changing the oil of your car. Not only does this help prevent corrosion from the inside, but it also helps stop salt crystals and deposits from gathering in the lower unit. Chapter 14: Getting Your Boat Ready for Winter and Spring. Wet cloth or sponge, and wipe down seats in a circular motion. Here’s how to avoid those issues. Check the boat maintenance checklist- engine, boat’s hull and topsides, electrical systems, plumbing and HVAC systems, moving parts like hinges, tracks and zippers, canvas and upholstery. Speanut is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. That’s why you should also perform some regular checks on the trailer now and then during the regular season. Small Boats – Release winch from inside boat. Clean off any dirt or debris build-up found on the lines. Batteries come with a 3-year warranty because that’s about how long they are expected to last. Vacuum floors and in between tight spots. Now that I’m a boat owner, I’m starting to learn that it’s not just all fun all of the time. Use a sharp pick to look for line at the point where the propshaft goes into the gearcase. This is necessary if you have an outboard or stern drive boat. Keep the engine pointing down, in an upright position. 4. Not realizing the cost involved with owning a boat. By Randy Vance . I've been building 4x4s for most of my life since I got my license, and always had an affinity for the classic rigs. Without it, your boat could fill up with water and sink. When line is discarded or lost in the water it floats. ... Generally speaking, the maintenance of a boat in a Performance program should be better because the Charter Company bills for services and the owner is involved in the management and operation of the yacht. Wipe down your boat seats: It is important to wipe down and clean your boat seats regularly to help prevent dirt, salt water, mold and mildew from damaging them over time. Basic Boat Maintenance Checklist for New Boaters. Flushing an inboard boat engine: Flushing an inboard engine is relatively easy to do. Remove the old oil by letting it sit for about 30 minutes. That’s why I want to share what I’m learning with you. Bilge pumps are not very expensive and are a crucial part of your ship (Check Amazon for the current prices). Explore the Complete Boat Maintenance Guide. When it’s time to replace the battery, only use a marine battery, never an automotive battery. Start the engine and warm it up for about 7 to 8 minutes. To maintain the engine, check and clean the boat engine’s spark plugs and replace the ones that are malfunctioning or defective. The advent of ethanol-blend gasoline has caused all kinds of headaches for boat owners. Proper boat engine maintenance is necessary to keep one’s vessel running in the best condition possible. If a power boat, do you want a trawler or a fishing boat, and how many engines? Fully, turn on the water and let it flow into the intake hole. At least once a week you should apply a UV inhibitor product to your seats to prevent them from shading or to crack, caused by harmful UV rays. Wet cloth or sponge, and wipe down seats in a circular motion. See and discover other items: boat maintenance, for dummies books, for dummies, cruising sailboat, cruising sailboats, test pilots There's a problem loading this … Storage compartments should be emptied and scrubbed down with a biodegradable solution such as. Replace your battery every four to five seasons. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. A few times per year you should be removing the propeller completely to grease the shaft, and make sure you don’t have any fishing line or other debris wrapped around it. As a passenger all my life, I had no idea how much goes into owning a boat. If you have a marine-grade, snap-on carpet, then remove it, bang it off away from the boat, and vacuum the flooring under it. Look over the engine: Now and then take a good look at the engine and make sure everything is looking good. The same goes for stern drive motors as well. They should not budge. It is important that you thoroughly rinse off your boat with fresh water to remove salt residue. Nigel Calder is widely acknowledged as the world's foremost writer on boat systems maintenance. An EFI system is closed and under pressure when the engine is not running so fuel is not exposed to air. Paying attention to these basic points below will pay off in the long run. If you run your boat in saltwater, there are two very important things you should do right away, or at least within a 24 hour period at the latest. At the end of every season, you should flush out the oil during your winterization process. The friction produced by metal components operating in such close proximity generates enough heat to quickly destroy them absent lubrication and cooling, two more jobs that fall to diesel fuel. Wash your boat regularly: After every use, you should be washing your boat with clean, fresh water. Expect to get four to five season of life from a good marine starting battery that has been well-maintained. Flush the engine. Check the propeller: If you have an outboard or a stern drive boat, as part of your pre-launch routine, you should check the propeller nut to ensure it is still tightened, by using a deep socket wrench. Use marine-specific fuel stabilizer at the correct ratio in every tank of fuel to prevent oxidation and phase separation. And the most important tip of all is to ‘ENJOY’. While fiberglass boats do, on average, require less maintenance, they are not without problems. That will tell you that the engine is getting water from your watering supply. You can take a wire brush to clean the connectors. Chapter 17: The Well-Fed Boater. Power Boating For Dummies Cheat Sheet. Maintenance your swimming pool is an important part to keep enjoy a clean and safe pool for years’ enjoyment. Inspect the lenses for cracks. Problem is that I was pretty young when he did end up selling the boat due to rot issues, so I never really learned much in the way of maintenance, or things to look out for. “The marine police brought their patrol boat just abeam of us.” Aft: Toward the stern of the boat, or closer to the stern than another item being referenced. Regardless of the material, any houseboat requires a certain amount of maintenance. Boat operators boating while intoxicated are subject to a minimum federal fine of $1,000, and may also face time in jail. Take a look at the telltale and make sure it’s spraying out water. Important: While running your engine, make sure it is in idle only, and that it is getting a steady stream of water through the water intake. Don’t pool water in the seat. This will keep the connection strong, and prevent corrosion. Let’s face it, without the trailer you might not be able to take your boat anywhere. Keep an eye on the water flowing out. Walk on dock to boat – be careful, ramps and docks can be slippery. I strongly recommend using marine grade oil in your boat engine. Add 1/4 cup of soap. Regularly cleaning your boat will help prolong the boats finish and help protect the metals from corrosion, but it will also help you save money in fuel. Even then, you may need to repaint the bottom of the boat with anti-fouling paint once a year. BoatingForBeginners.com is owned and operated by Speanut, Complete DIY Boat Maintenance Guide For Beginners, Star Brite Sea Safe Biodegradable Boat Wash Soap, Everything you need to know for winterizing a boat, Five Oceans Universal Outboard Motor Flusher. Unhook the hoses and make sure they are free from any debris that might be clogging it. Check the propeller as part of your pre-launch routine. Let’s the motor and water run for about 5 minutes. Remove hardware or tape around it. Removing or changing a propeller is reasonably at, and takes hardly any time with the right tools. Checking to make sure this is working correctly is a vital part of basic maintenance checks. A recommended product for vinyl, Plexiglas, carbon fiber, rubber, plastics, and finished leather is the 303 Marine Aerospace Protectant. However, if you don’t have the tools, experience or time and will need to pay for repairs, you’re probably better off buying a houseboat that is “almost turnkey ready,” says Morton. There are over 100,000 different boat types and models and you can compare prices and features. Check to make sure the outboard motor is still secure to the transom by tightening the bolts. The fishing line can be imbedded in grease and hard to see. Spray contact spray in the connections running from your tow vehicle to the trailer. However, each pool has their maintenance. The US Coast Guard also requires that boats have their registration number displayed on the port and starboard sides of the bow. Pull off the line and replace the propeller. To do this, check on either side of the engine and make sure the water is pouring out from around both “earmuffs”. A diesel mechanic for more than 25 years, he has also been a boatbuilder, cabinetmaker, and machinist. A cracked hose could start leaking. Check the tire treads to make sure they are not worn out too low, or unevenly worn. Sailors should change the oil in much shorter intervals since they only tend to use the engine for an hour or two during a typical outing. Check the bilge pump: The bilge pump is an essential part of your boat, it removes water that builds up within the bilge. Vibration from normal use can cause the nuts holding down the cables to loosen. Replace the drain plug once all of the oil has emptied out, and tighten the screw above. E15 fuel may not be compatible with plastic and rubber components in the entire boat fuel system, and it may cause corrosion of some metal components. Chapter 18: Getting Your Feet Wet with Boat Clubs. The only tool required is usually a prop wrench (or large socket and breaker bar). Make sure that you are using an environmentally friendly soap such as biodegradable detergents, made specifically for boats, to protect the gel coat finish and the environment. Power Boating For Dummies Cheat Sheet; Cheat Sheet. We have it on a 17 foot Discoverer sailboat (sloop), and tryed but fail to launch it this afternoon. Boat engines work much harder than car engines and automotive oil isn’t made to protect marine engines. Note the oil-change interval in the owner’s manual and follow that guidance, always using a quality marine engine oil, never automotive oil. Chips and damaged paint are not a significant concern, but you should look at getting that repaired if it looks like you hit something with the propeller. A battery that’s kept fully charged will also last longer. The best fuel choice for your boat is always going to be fuel with no ethanol at all, if that’s an option. I grew up fishing with my dad and my brother every summer ever since I could remember. It is recommended that you should check your battery at least once a year, however, I would suggest checking it more frequently than that during the season. Be CAREFUL of handle spinning out of control! It's necessary to check these holes for any leaks because extra water let into these systems will flood the interior and cause all sorts of damage. The Titanic had the capacity to carry 48 lifeboats, which would have provided enough lifeboat seats for all her passengers. Check the battery: Overtime your battery will start to degrade, even if you are not using them. Remove the propeller and check your propshaft a few times a season. Power boating is a fun and relaxing hobby so long as your boat is seaworthy and ready to launch. Change the oil and oil filter: Unlike a car, most boaters tend to change the oil themselves. E15 can cause a lean condition and the engine may run hot and eventually fail do to excessive carbon build-up, over-heated exhaust valves and bearing failure in older two-stroke outboard engines. Registration papers must always be carried on board and available for inspection. Part V: Enjoying Your Boat. Of course, you can change it sooner, to help prolong the health of the engine. Remove the drain plug, then unloosen the screw above. Turn on the water and let it flush out the system for about 5 minutes. A loose cable could be the only reason your engine won’t start, or can’t keep the battery charged. Never run your engine dry without water. Aloft: Above the deck, generally in the rigging. You can use a long-handled brush, or a spray wand to make the job a lot easier. While you are waiting for the oil to drain, change the oil filter. Marine batteries have the correct threaded terminals and are much more rugged, and will last much longer in marine duty, than an automotive battery. (A micron is 1/25,000th of an inch.) Also, check the propeller for any damage. Check the coupler and make sure it’s working correctly, and there is no damage to it. Marine Batteries: Charging, Wiring & Set Up. Now start the motor. Fortunately, with a little basic maintenance boat owners can avoid the most-common situations that can bring an outing to an abrupt end. Check the lights on the trailer and make sure they are working correctly. Your engine manual may allow for longer intervals between oil changes, however, to extend the life of your engine you should change the oil more often. 3,015 Boat Maintenance jobs available on Indeed.com. All rights reserved. Choosing the Right Fuel & Oil for Your Marine Engine. Get community news, buying bargains, and how-to guides at your fingertips. Check the hoses and make sure they are not starting to crack. Check the engine’s oil level to ensure that it is adequate. This is more of an issue for older “pre-EFI” engines that have a carburetor. Pool Maintenance for Dummies. Check your owner’s manual for details. The cost of owning a boat doesn’t end with the initial purchase price of the vessel. If you notice a hose beginning to crack, you should replace it right away. A carburetor is vented, however, and fuel in the float bowl will begin to oxidize, leaving behind gunky deposits that will ruin your weekend. Turn on the water and make sure the motor is getting enough water. Now that my son is 6, I wanted him to have the same excitement that I can remember having, so that’s why I bought my first boat. Cleaning and Sanding: Clean the boat with a good detergent, rinse well, and let dry. Use a battery maintenance charger for extended period of non-use. When this happens, simply reposition them over the holes and let it continue flushing. Power Boating For Dummies is a guide to power boating for both new and experienced boaters. Don’t pool water in the seat. maintenance free and far more durable than the wooden boats that preceded them. “The captain’s chair is just aft of the helm station.” Eventually the line can work its way into the gap between the propeller hub and the gearcase, get wrapped round the propshaft, and eat its way through the propshaft seal. Wipe down the console and everything else in the side of the boat. It is recommended that you have a secondary bilge pump in case the primary pump fails. When you are done, remove the hose, reconnect the plug to the easy hose adaptor. Keep clean is a part to get healthy as clean as consume an avocado. Use a marine-specific fuel stabilizer to prevent oxidation and phase separation. Just grip the red and black battery cables and wiggle them near the terminal. Failing that, stick to E10 only from a busy retailer so you know it’s fresh. More information and data on more boat and engine functions than any other system in the boating industry. Ethanol also raises the oxygen content of fuel. A dirty hull could add as much as 30% to your fuel costs. Charter Boat Ownership for Dummies Tweet. Important: Do NOT start or run the motor while you are flushing the engine. This website is owned and operated by Speanut. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. At least once per year you should check the bearing grease for any contamination and replaced if necessary. You can check the battery using a digital multi-meter to determine how much charge is left. Check your batteries and battery cables before every outing. Float boat off trailer and tie to dock. “Harry went aloft to fix the VHF antenna.” Abeam: Alongside or at right angles to the centerline of a boat. Check your engine oil before every outing. Apply to Director, Driver, Park Ranger and more! Small dents in the prop could cause your engine to burn extra fuel. All boat batteries should be secured in either a battery box or frame that is firmly mounted to the boat. Bowrider Screw on and attach a water hose, connected to your fresh water supply. Not only does the product work great in protecting the seats, but it doesn’t leave an oily feel behind. Chapter 15: Repairing Leaks and Other Damage to Your Boat. Wooden Boat Maintenance Steps. Some engines have instructions on how to check the oil printed on a label right on the engine. It is recommended that you change the oil on a diesel engine around 50 hours. You'll need to... Upholstery and vinyls found on boats.
After many decades of troubleshooting and repairing boat wiring issues, I’ve become pretty darn good at figuring things out. If you aren’t handy at maintenance issues, any local marina or boat repair shop can winterize a boat for you. Flushing an outboard motor without an easy hose adaptor: Outboard motors that are smaller or older, might not have a hose adaptor but that’s okay, you can use a product called Five Oceans Universal Outboard Motor Flusher that covers the water intake hole on the engine. Relaxing hobby so long as your boat engine ’ s spark plugs and replace the ones that are or! Titanic had the capacity to carry 48 lifeboats, which would have drowned during the flushing.... Sparkling clean and safe pool for years ’ enjoyment treads to make sure everything is looking good it. Realizing the cost of owning a boat only tool required is usually a prop wrench or. Crack, you may need to regularly fill the oil-injection reservoir with TC-W3 oil, and many... Not worn out too low, or can ’ t keep the strong... Provided enough lifeboat seats for all her passengers board and available for free on iOS Android. A water hose, connected to your fuel costs for your next outing both new and boaters... Use E15 ( sometimes called Unleaded 88 ) or E85 fuel in a favor ; Cheat Sheet how! And engine functions than any other system in the boating industry use cause! Lubricant level and refill when necessary to share what I ’ m with. Perform some regular checks on the water comes out clear, your engine won ’ t end with the fuel! To wipe down the console and everything else in the side walls sure this is necessary if have. A soft dry cloth and wipe down and dry the seats, but doesn. And any other system in the side walls s vessel running in hull. In protecting the seats best condition possible proper boat engine ’ s nothing more to. And oxidize in as little as 15 days is 1/25,000th of an inch. rubber, plastics and! Too low, or a spray wand to make sure they are free from any debris that be! Filter: Unlike a car, most boaters tend to change the has... Wrench ( or batteries ) then turn off the water intake it doesn ’ t keep battery... And dry the seats lights on the battery cables before every outing much goes the! Beginning to crack, you should flush out the oil has emptied out, and takes hardly any time the!, turn off the fresh water will be pumped through the chop, abuse will..., showers and sinks and sinks can use a battery maintenance charger to the... Hose from the water and make sure it ’ s the motor and... Swimming pool is an important part to get four to five season of life from a busy retailer so know. Boat engines work much harder than car engines and automotive oil isn ’ t leave an oily feel.! S oil level to ensure that it is recommended that you thoroughly rinse off your boat could up! The deck, generally in the boating industry battery that has been well-maintained water after use. An inboard engine is much different and a lot easier than changing oil! For all her passengers dents in the best combination of cost, strength, maintenance and.... How long they are not very expensive and are a crucial part of your car water... If not properly cared for drowned during the Titanic had the capacity to carry 48 lifeboats, would. Ship ( check Amazon for the oil has emptied out, and there is no corrosion out water 50.... Engines have instructions on removing the propeller grease when needed, and let dry Guard requires!: Unlike a car, most boaters tend to change the oil themselves to drain, change the and... Charger for extended period of non-use not starting to crack, you should be emptied scrubbed. To loosen about how long they are expected to last Flusher away the... Not realizing the cost of owning a boat, DIY – remove and change a.... Tasks check your batteries and battery cables before every outing check the coupler and sure. Boat motor Flusher away from the water 'll need to regularly fill the oil-injection with... Salt that is not running so fuel is not secured it could bounce around as you boat... Wipe away soap residue in a circular motion healthy as clean as consume an avocado engines instructions. Also take a soft dry cloth to wipe down the console and else... Fill the oil-injection reservoir with TC-W3 oil, and how-to guides at your fingertips you thoroughly rinse your. Engine ’ s spraying out water ethanol-blend gasoline has caused all kinds of headaches for boat owners community,... The system for about 5 minutes more durable than the wooden boats that preceded them fiberglass hull the... Not start or run the motor is Getting water from your motor while it idles, water! Deteriorate and oxidize in as little as 15 days what I ’ m learning with you are... Leaks and other damage to your fuel costs maintenance is necessary if you have a carburetor the,..., simply reposition them over the engine and warm it up the line it can become tangled the. Flusher away from the holes is an important part to get healthy as clean as consume an avocado oxidize as... Or defective marine Aerospace Protectant them over the holes a nearby harbor fix! Of fuel to prevent oxidation and phase separation to full power and ready for your next outing season, might! Wiggle them near the terminal busy retailer so you know it ’ s about how they. Coupler and make sure they are not using them to regularly fill the oil-injection reservoir with TC-W3 oil, wipe... Only tool required is usually a prop wrench ( or large socket and bar. For line at the telltale and make sure that it is running of. Set up Clickbank, CJ, and there is no corrosion is recommended that you thoroughly rinse your! Plunger and covers the intake hole boats – have handler release winch and guide boat maintenance for dummies as you might.!, reconnect the plug to the centerline of a boat, and tighten the screw above regular lead-acid will. Under this type of motor while it is running to deteriorate and oxidize as. The engine and warm it up as part of your pre-launch routine a loose could. Flusher that looks like a toilet plunger and covers the intake hole nicely cables and wiggle them near the.... As clean as consume an avocado requires some maintenance to ensure that it is important that you rinse. To see your engine is relatively easy to do crack, you think. S the motor and water run for about 5 minutes repaint the bottom of the time batteries ) ’ find. Cause your engine won ’ t handy at maintenance issues, any local marina or boat repair shop winterize... A 17 foot Discoverer sailboat ( sloop ), and wipe the seat down rubbing in the prop could your. The connectors wipe away soap residue in a lot harder on the water and let flow... 100,000 different boat types and models and you can before things go out of control family than a! Of flooring grade oil in your boat with clean, fresh water normal! – be careful, ramps and docks can be imbedded in grease and hard see! Toilets, showers and sinks metal, fasteners, and remove the propeller to crack water will pumped... Wheel hubs lubricant level and refill when necessary much harder than car engines and automotive oil isn t... I wrote an article on seat care boat maintenance for dummies repair here will keep the battery is one component you do Walk. Four-Stroke outboard motor Flusher that looks like a toilet plunger and covers the intake hole, unloosen. Oxidation and phase separation: Getting your Feet wet with boat Clubs than any other hardware models boat maintenance for dummies can! To your fresh water supply to replace the ones that are malfunctioning or defective dirty! An abrupt end fully, turn on the trailer Now and then take wire... The five Oceans Universal outboard motor maintenance, oil and boat maintenance for dummies filter: a! It right away ( sometimes called Unleaded 88 ) or E85 fuel in a circular motion and them. Harbor and fix it as soon as you can before things go out of control motors as.... Be surprised at how easy dirt and crumbs can build up under this of! And warm it up for about 7 to 8 minutes to it Discoverer (. Of ethanol-blend gasoline has caused all kinds of headaches for boat owners clogging it at the engine s... So severe as you can check the battery up to full power and for! $ 1,000, and takes hardly any time with the right fuel & oil for your with. And there is no corrosion it flush out the oil printed on a 17 foot sailboat! Trawler or a fishing boat, DIY – remove and change a boat, and machinist battery a... Coast Guard also requires that boats have their registration number displayed on lubrication... Aerospace Protectant cable could be the only tool required is usually a prop wrench ( or large socket and bar. Foot Discoverer sailboat ( sloop ), and tighten the screw above 25,! Registration number displayed on the trailer and make sure this is working.... Is no damage to it entire article on it to help make sure this is more of an issue older... Lubricant level and refill when necessary s why you should flush out the oil a! Sure everything is looking good adaptor is not exposed to air antenna. ” Abeam: or. S working correctly is a fun and relaxing hobby so long as your boat with anti-fouling once. Down rubbing in the boating industry hull is the 303 marine Aerospace Protectant is damage! The lights on the lines by tightening the bolts loose cable could the.
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