Every serious boat owner knows that there is never a bad time to refresh your knowledge or learn some new tips when it comes to boat ownership and regular boat maintenance.
If you are a boat owner, or perhaps the perfect boating weather you are seeing has made you interested in owning a boat, and you are looking for some information on general boat maintenance, here is some information to help.
Every good vehicle maintenance checklist starts with safety. After all, if your boat is not safe to hit the water, then you shouldn't be taking it out. To get you started, ensure the following:
- Complete a Boating Course
- If you are new to boating, there is no better place to start than with a general boating course. This will teach you the basics of how to operate a boat, along with general safety tips.
- Each Person Knows How to Swim
- Whether you or your passengers expect to be swimming or just sitting on the boat fishing, each person on your boat should know how to swim.
- Each time that you are planning a trip on the water, you should check your safety equipment. The fundamentals to start with are:
- There is an appropriately sized life jacket for all passengers
- Fire extinguishers are full and in working order
- Lifelines are not frayed
- Non-slip surfaces are clean and functional
- Guide and grab rails are in good condition
- Make your plans known
- Once you have settled on an itinerary, provide copies to friends or family. If you know the particular co-ordinates of a location you will be visiting, be sure to include these. In the event that you do not return at your designated time, this information is extremely helpful to the Coast Guard.
Before you head out on the water, make sure that all of your engine fluids
are at their suggested levels, and that you are always carrying spares. To get the right fluids
for your boat, or to give it a synthetic oil change
before you head out, speak with Ace Hi Oil
at (888) 459-9958
Not unlike a car, your boat's engine relies on a number of different fluids to ensure that it will not only run, but run well and keep you out of trouble. Start by checking the following:
- Engine Oil
- This is the primary oil that your engine needs to operate and can be the difference between a safe and enjoyable outing, and getting stuck and needing to be towed back to shore. If it has been a while since your last synthetic oil change, before your trip is the best time to do it to ensure your engine can perform at its best.
- Hydraulic Steering Fluid
- Where your car has power steering to help you turn the wheel, your boat likely has hydraulic steering. Both of these require fluid in order to ensure they work properly, and that you are able to steer yourself out of trouble.
- Operating at high RPM under the beaming sun can cause your boat's motor to reach extreme temperatures. There is likely a small tank which is easily accessible that is designed to hold engine coolant. Look through your owner's manual and be sure to keep your coolant level topped up to the right level, and more importantly, with the right product.
One of the most overlooked aspects of basic boat maintenance are the propellers. Many owners assume that, seems it spins in water, there can't be much damage that occurs. However, the opposite is true. While you may only see water as you drive, small pieces of debris can be floating just under the surface and damage your propellers as you move. Before you take your boat out, give your propellers a quick visual inspection. If you notice any dents, cracks, or loose bearings, tend to it before your trip.
Along with your mechanics, the electrical system on your boat plays a significant role. From displaying your fluid levels, operating speeds, and temperatures, it is also responsible for powering the equipment you may need to call for help. When checking your electricals, pay particular attention to the following:
- The condition of your battery
- Check all exposed wiring for fraying or damage
- Be sure that your reporting lights and gauges are fully functional
- Check all of your lights in and around your boat
- Be sure to calibrate your GPS system and ensure it is working correctly
- Test your radio and be sure that you can communicate with the Coast Guard if necessary
Keep Your Boat on the Water With a Synthetic Oil Change in Keller
These are all crucial items for you to tend to before you leave for a boating trip. However, speak with your Coast Guard or boat supplier before your trip and ask their professional advice.
When it comes to your engine, always be sure to use high-quality products and fluids
. If you are considering a synthetic oil change
before your journey, speak with Ace Hi Oil
at (817) 431-6664
and ask which products are best suited to your engine. Something as simple as a quick synthetic oil change
can make a big difference in your engine performance, and is a task which you can perform at home.