Regular maintenance will ensure your sailing boat lasts as long as possible. Consistent servicing can aid in the prevention of major repairs or overhauls. Not to mention making sure your passengers are safe on board your boat.
Boat Maintenance Tips
Keep a simple boat maintenance schedule on board and update it regularly to stay up-to-date with your preventive routine.
Boat Cleaning and Care
Washing your boat after each trip will prevent build up of corrosive elements. Use fresh water and an environmentally friendly boat cleaning product. Waxing, oiling, and anti-fouling will all assist in protecting your boat inside and out. If your boat is left standing for a long time, invest in a cover or ask someone to regularly check and clean it.
Routine Boat Inspection
By keeping a strict boat maintenance schedule, your boat will be kept in the best condition at all times. Regular checks on ropes, general fittings, and the engine can prevent major damage from occurring. If in doubt, you should take your boat for a professional visual inspection with your local marine surveyor, such as Flyingfish Ventures based in Grenada.
Battery Care For Boating
Keep your battery compartment clean and free from damp. Ensure the battery is correctly charged and the fluid levels are correct.
Boat Bilge Pumps
One of a boat owner’s worst fears is for their vessel to sink. Having a properly functioning bilge pump is crucial. A properly charged battery is also essential to running the bilge pump for an extended period of time.
Water and electrics do not mix! Many electrical failures on boats are due to corroded systems which haven’t been kept dry and checked regularly. You may choose to protect your electrical fittings with a water-repellant, non-conductive grease or corrosion inhibitor.
Motor Maintenance Tips
Read our blog on Diesel Engine Troubleshooting Tips. After a sailing trip it is a good idea to flush your engine and give the system a full check. Look for damage, leaks, rust or corrosion and rectify immediately to prevent further problems arising. Check the oil system for cleanliness, proper filtration, and correct levels. It is also worthwhile to inspect the cooling system.
Storing Your Boat
When you are not using your sailing boat for an extended period of time, you may opt to haul out in a dry dock or keep her in the water. There are a number of different considerations for each storage method. We will take a closer look at these next week on our blog – stay tuned!
The RYA offers boat maintenance courses such as the RYA Diesel Engine course – great for furthering your knowledge about engines. Get to know your own boat by reading the boat owner’s manual and familiarising yourself with all aspects of your vessel. If you are not sure, then ask a professional to assist you while you learn.