Chapter 3: Launching and Operation

Essential Boat Maintenance

Proper maintenance and upkeep are essential to ensure safety and to prolong the life of a boat and keep it in top condition. Use the following checklist to keep a vessel in top working condition:

  • Change the boat's engine oil every boating season.
  • Inspect all belts, hoses, and fittings. If any are excessively worn, replace them before embarking. This includes inspecting the "through hull" fittings which act as drain pipes from the interior of the vessel to the sea.
  • Regularly clean and grease any electrical connections.
  • Inspect all fluid and oil levels and the battery condition before embarking.
  • Check for any oxidation or corrosion and take measures to ensure they do not worsen.
  • Check the transmission and provide any maintenance and service recommended by the manufacturer.
  • When cleaning battery terminals, be sure to disconnect the terminal and remove any accumulated corrosion with a wire brush.
  • Check for any leaks or openings in the boat, these could potentially worsen and become more severe if unattended.
  • For personal watercraft, ensure that the safety engine cutoff device is functioning properly and that the engine cuts off when one falls from the vessel.
  • When ashore store the boat in a dry place if possible. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can damage boats, so investing in a fitted cover for summer months is advised.

If any of these parts or components show signs of wear or overuse, replace them before boating. Remember to only use manufacturer approved parts for the boat’s maintenance. Performing proper and regular maintenance is an essential part of being a safe and responsible boat owner.

Boat Maintenance