What Now-? Maintenance 101

Maintenance 101

Greetings Fellow Boaters-

At the end of the Summer season, we find our selves winding down in some regions, and this year, for sure, we have had the time to get out and run our boat engines, systems, and ourselves to the fullest.

Now What-?

Most boat dealership service departments have had minimum of 2+ weeks of scheduled work for most of the Summer. Will it lessen? I don’t think so. More boaters than ever on the waters…. More new boaters than a long time on the waters…. ya think???

– Lets think proactively. For some, this is easier than others. This is why I write this. Call your service department and surprise them with a little forward flexibility. You may have made a list on your new or new to you boat that needs addressing. You may have some regular maintenance in order. You may have some fiberglass (cosmetic) work to address, etc. Let’s start talking about it now!

-A great Question: When should I …….

Change the oil and filters? – In the Fall. The sediment over a seasons boating is in the oil pan and filters. Waiting for spring is allowing that to sludge over a winter storage period. Lets get it out and have fresh ready for Spring!! Engine oil, out drive oil, generator oil, inboard transmission oil.

-Impellers: In the Spring. Rubber and such life span is lessened by time, heat, what shape its in, etc. Putting new impellers in the Spring ensures you have the most time available for that season’s boating. Wake boat ballast pump impellers taking a little more time than usual to fill/drain? (thought provoking)?

-Tune Ups: Your owners manual has a recommended maintenance chart in it. If you don’t have one, ask your servicing dealer. The emphasis is “preventative” maintenance. So, it may seem you don’t “need” it until you do….. when you are out on the ramp or ready to leave the slip and something is causing your boat to not run or run properly…. Get it??

-When should we or Should we, winterize? Well, depends where you are located. Seek guidance from your local service department. There are different features on late model engines that “extend” boating season with abilities to drain water from engine blocks to “lessen” chances of freezing and cracking blocks. But nothing ensures the safety of your engines and systems like “winterizing” with proper anti-freeze. Note, this is different than anti-freeze/coolant for the engine(s). This is a biodegradable chemical that is available up to -50 degrees F and the optional -100 degrees F. This is one of the main factors to the variance in service departments winterizing pricing. Bottom line, the -100 is more expensive.

-Batteries: on average, batteries in a marine application are a 3 year life cycle. Okay, I have heard stories of “I’ve never changed my batteries” and the same with impellers, and bottom paint, etc. Well, you are on “borrowed time” my Friends…. The dates are usually marked on the batteries for reference. With today’s battery chargers, they are easier on our batteries than those of the past. You can have your service department load test your batteries for reference. note*** they should be at full charge when load tested.

– Head Filter: Your neighbors will love me for this! Once a year you need to change your holding tank filter. Boats that don’t come equipped with them can have them added most of the time. This keeps the “stink” down at the dock or on anchor when you flush or otherwise. This is a canister usually filled with charcoal or the “like”. BTW- you can make your own for less than half the price. An you can change the charcoal. (YouTube it). You’re welcome!!!

-Fuel Tanks: With today’s fuels, additive is a must. You can prolong fuels from separating, or gelling with some chemicals on the shelves. Ask your service department for some recommendation. Also, having your tank filled closer to full than not reduces the chance for moisture/condensation to form in the tank.

-Interiors/cockpit: Have a boat smell, in your boat? Sign of “critters”? There are some natural rodent repellents on the market that both keep the: Mink, otters, mice, rats, and the like away and in their natural habitat. Not building a nest in your boat…. These are also typically a pleasant smell to humans. Damp rid or the like is a great dehumidifier and helps keep mildew and science from happening while stored. We keep them in ours all year. Also, dryer sheets under cushions in cabinets can help keep the smell “fresh”.

– Make sure your interior is clean and conditioned. There are many products that take care of boat interiors on the market. It prolongs by moisturizing the material and threads for years of life. Bleach kills germs… and stitching… you can spot treat, but if you’ve ever seen stitching let go on an interior, usually its due to how or what was used to clean it.

– Am I missing some tips/tricks? I’m sure I am.. If you think of something, or a better way to do it? Please post in comments.

Happy Boating-

Zane Stevenson

Atlanta Boat Broker