Making repairs to your boat can be a costly affair, we know. In the long run, servicing and vital replacements will be unavoidable, but there are a number of small actions you can take regularly to keep your boat in ship-shape and avoid frequent maintenance costs.
Saltwater has a major, long-term damaging effect on all areas of your boat. By simply spraying your boat down with fresh water, you can fend off the corrosive effects of the seawater that constantly passes over, under through and around your boat. Also, be sure to flush the engine on a regular basis.
Fibreglass hulls are well known to be tough, but they can only take so much of a beating over time. Regular cleaning is a given and is not enough to clean off build-ups of debris or reinforce spots with significant amounts of wear and tear.
To deal with these, you need a regular treatment of fibreglass reconditioning compound. A bit like waxing or refinishing your car, a regular application of reconditioner removes stains, patches up problem areas and adds a layer of much-needed protection.
It’s a small and easy thing to ask but some people just don’t think to do it. With all the saltwater that is pumped through your motor, salt deposits will tend to collect inside and do damage over time. Flushing with fresh water after every single use will stop this from happening and significantly increase the life of your motor.
Do yourself this little favour. Before and after every outing, check that your propeller is securely in place by testing the nut and cotter pin to check that they are firm. It’s rare, but not unheard of, for the propeller to actually loosen its nut and pin over successive uses and then possibly spin-off. Simply check and secure them each time you head out and back.
Ultimately, nobody knows your boat and its usage and schedule as well as you do. You owe it to yourself to protect your investment by doing the necessary checks and maintenances as needed. So be your own skipper, pilot and engineer, and go through every part of the vessel and create pre- and post-trip checklists that you can use to ensure that everything is in place. Taking control of care and maintenance is the best thing you can do as a boat owner.