Once you become the owner of a boat or pontoon, a lot of fun begins. And in order to keep the good times rolling (or floating!), you'll need to complete some maintenance. Keeping up with boat maintenance is one of the best ways to keep everything looking and performing great, and it gives you an opportunity to notice any need for service or parts long before it becomes an issue.
4 Boat Maintenance Tips
Here are some simple, preventative boat maintenance tips to keep your watercraft in tip top shape.
Change Your Oil
Just like your car, truck, and lawnmower, boats require regular oil changes. How often does your boat or pontoon need an oil change? Well, that depends. Your motor should come with directions, but as a rule of thumb, you'll want to change your oil after every 100 hours of use or at least once per season. That will keep your motor running smoothly.
Wash Your Boat's Exterior
Whenever you take your boat out of the water, it's a good idea to give it a wash. While this is more important for saltwater boaters, boats used in freshwater can also benefit from regular cleanings. There are numerous boat cleaners available on the market, but if you're in a pinch, the majority of car wash cleaners are safe to use on boats (unless your manual or care instructions say otherwise!).
Clean Your Upholstery
Then, at least once per season, you want to deep clean your boat's interior. This is where you break out the soft bristle brush and go over every inch. Over the course of the summer, your interiors are going to collect sunscreen, sand, plant material, fishing debris, and any other number of things you don't want on your upholstery. Also, after the deep clean is the perfect time to apply a UV protectant to your interiors.
Check the Propeller
While paint chips are a normal part of wear and tear, any cracks or physical damage to your propeller can quickly lower your boat's performance. In fact, a bent or dented propeller can easily lower your watercraft's performance by 10 percent. If there is any damage to your propeller, be sure to bring it to a marine service provider who can repair or replace anything that's not functioning as it should.
Depending on the boat you own and/or the details of your boat warranty, additional maintenance may be required. Be sure to check your owner's manual for suggested maintenance specific to your watercraft, as well as the maintenance requirements outlined in your boat warranty documentation.