When you’re thinking about buying a boat, you should take the time to get your ducks in a row. Whether you’ve bought a brand-new luxury yacht or a classic wooden speedboat, there are a few key things to consider before your next trip.
1. Check Your Batteries
Batteries are the number one cause of engine failure, and they are often overlooked when you’re preparing your boat for a trip. Make sure to check the battery cables and terminals, as well as the electrolyte levels in each cell. If you find any corrosion or signs of leakage, replace them immediately.
2. Switch Out Old Equipment
If you’re taking a long trip, many of your appliances are likely on their last legs—your refrigerator may have a bad compressor, your stove burners may be malfunctioning, and your air conditioner could be making noise. Before leaving on a long journey, make sure to bring these items in for maintenance or replacement so that they don’t fail mid-trip!
3. Check Your Boat’s Fuel Filter
Checking your fuel filter is a great way to make sure your boat runs smoothly. If you notice that there’s a lot of dirt or debris in it, you may need to replace it. You’ll also want to check the fuel filter screen for any signs of wear or damage. If you find that it’s damaged or worn down, then it’s time to replace your fuel filter as well!
4. Replace The Engine Oil And Filter
You should always change your engine oil after every 50 hours of use (or every year if you use your boat less). Even if you don’t plan on using your boat for a while, it’s good practice to keep tabs on how much use it gets so that you can schedule maintenance accordingly. Changing the engine oil will help prevent corrosion and ensure that all moving parts are properly lubricated.
5. Make Sure the Propeller is in Good Condition
If you’ve got an older boat, it’s not uncommon for the propeller to be worn out and unable to move your boat through the water. This can lead to several issues, including overheating and even fire. If you notice that your propeller is starting to become rusty or warped, it’s time to replace it.
6. Clean Out the Plumbing System
If you’ve been using your boat frequently, there are likely some things that need cleaning out when you’re preparing for your next trip. For example, make sure to check both sinks and toilets for any clogs or other issues that may have developed over time.
7. Take Stock of Safety Equipment on Board
While you’re taking stock of your safety equipment, make sure it’s all in good shape and up to date. If you notice that any of your life jackets or PFDs are damaged or expired, replace them right away. You also want to make sure that any flares or fire extinguishers are fully stocked and functional.
8. Don’t Forget To Clean and Wax after Winter Storage
You might be eager to get back on the water, but don’t forget about winter storage for a moment! After winter storage, your boat needs a thorough cleaning and waxing before heading out again (don’t forget the bottom). If you don’t take care of this step before heading out into the wild blue yonder, you’ll likely have issues with algae growth, rusting metal parts, and other problems that can lead to serious issues down the road if left unchecked.
9. Have All the Appliances Repaired or Replaced if Damaged
A boat is a lot of fun, but it’s also a big responsibility. If you’re going to be living on your boat, you need to make sure everything is in working order before the first trip. The most important thing is to get the motor serviced before your next trip. You should also get any appliances that have been damaged fixed or replaced.
10. Make Sure Everything Is In Working Order Before You Leave
This includes things like water pumps and toilets as well as propane tanks and engines—anything that might break down during travel! If something does break down while traveling then there’s no telling how long it will take for someone else to come out and fix it for you so make sure everything is ready before leaving by checking each system individually before putting
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