Essential Boat Maintenance Guide – A Weekly, Monthly & Yearly Checklist

By James Fletcher

Boating maintenance is vitally important. If your car brakes down you can simply call for a tow truck. Out on the water, a breakdown can turn deadly. Proper maintenance and inspections can ensure many years of safe boating.

Below is a list of weekly, monthly and yearly routine maintenance schedules.

Weekly:

Weekly tests should be done by the captain, before each trip out on the boat. These tests should focus on making sure the equipment needed for each voyage is working correctly. Be sure to check bilge pumps, navigation lights, bungs and washers, the steering column for stiffness and fuel level. Also make sure the radio is operating before heading out onto the water. You should also have a quick look around the boat to identify any potential problems or hazards.

Monthly:

Monthly maintenance should focus on checking engine oil levels, and other motorized equipment. Be sure to check the oil levels, monitor the ropes and lines for damage, oil the winch and check safety equipment for damage including lifejackets as well as the use by dates on flares. Give the boat a good clean and also check for any general signs of wear and tare. Inspect the blades of the propellor for damage and inspect all other electrical items such as windscreen wipers, engine tilt and anything else electrical.

Yearly:

Your motor should be serviced at least once a year or more depending on how much you use your boat. As the owner you should thoroughly inspect to exterior and interior of your vessel at least once a year. Look for cracks, chips, blistering, loose wiring, broken fittings and anything else unusual. If you cannot fix what you see be sure to raise the issue with your service agent before getting the boat serviced. Be sure to check grab rails and other fittings are secure and tightly fitted the the boats hull. Check the boats rollers to ensure they are running smoothly otherwise add grease as needed.

By abiding by these maintenance schedules, you will increase your chances of having many years of trouble free boating. Without proper maintenance you run a great risk not only to yourself but to your passengers as well. Be safe, and keep up on your maintenance and checks. James loves to go boating and fishing.

More great Fishing & Boating tips can be found at his site. Or for more boating tips visit: http://www.freeboatingtips.com/?p=54

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