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Vito Dumas, the famous Argentine sailor, once said: “It’s out there at sea that you are really yourself”.

If that’s the case, then your boat is not only your pride and joy… it’s the key to being your true self. Whether you mainly use it for fishing, water skiing, or just as a way to escape reality, your boat deserves proper upkeep.

There are several ways that you can not only keep it in tip-top shape but also prevent unfortunate wear-and-tear from happening.

Here are 7 ways you can up your boat maintenance and keep it running smoothly for years to come.

1. Constant Inspection

Everyone has those boating friends that inspect their boat after every single time that they dock it somewhere. You may have even teased them for it a time or two, but they actually have the right idea.

That’s not to say you need to inspect the entire boat each time, but there are certain features you should check more often than others.

A quick scan of the overall vessel from a trained boater’s eye should indicate whether anything pressing needs to be attended to, such as a crack. However, you should up your inspection of specific features, such as the controls, motor, and fluids, to every other time that you take it out.

If anything raises a red flag, don’t ignore it. Keep your boat protected and seek out an expert’s opinion right away.

2. Use Optimum Products

A common mistake among the average boat owner is using household cleaning products to rinse your boat’s features.

While there are some household products that will do the trick, if there’s a marine-specific version of it then opt to use that instead.

You may be wondering, “What’s the big difference between them?” Ultimately, they hold up better against the elements whenever you take the boat out on the water. 

Marine cleaning products were designed with a boater in mind, so they’re dedicated to providing a thick shine on your boat longer than Windex is dedicated to keeping your house windows shining.

This makes a monumental difference in your boat’s condition over the course of time.

3. Flush the Engine Every Time

Being the portion that actually keeps the boat moving, most boaters would agree that the engine is the most important part of the operations.

Because of that, you want to make a habit of flushing your engine after each outing.  There are several elements, such as salt, that can build up and ultimately destroy features in your engine. 

Do your due diligence to read up on how your boat’s manufacturer advises to properly clean out the engine. Those instructions should be in the instruction manual.

Be sure to flush it step-by-step as the manufacturer instructs after each use. After all, you don’t want your engine to be the engine that couldn’t, right?

4. Claim a “Dry Storage” Section of Your Boat

As you know, “wet fabric” and “time in an enclosed space” don’t mix well together. The end result? Mold.

Mold can be hard to clear out of certain spaces and is a vicious cycle once it starts. Take the time to communicate a “dry storage” area of your boat and strictly enforce it to any and all passengers each time you take the boat out.

Ideally, you would only keep life jackets, clothing, and those gadgets that can’t afford to get wet (but your daughter still insists on bringing aboard) in this compartment.

That way, all other fabric is safe from being compromised and you don’t run the risk of wet clothes that were forgotten about sitting there overnight.

Should you need to use life jackets, it’s as simple as keeping them out of that compartment until they’re completely dry.

5. Clean the Windows Often

All boaters know how messy and foggy a window can get after only a few trips out at sea or in the nearest lake. That’s why it’s important to give them a thorough cleaning with marine window cleaner regularly.

A spray-less wipe down with the spare towel you brought aboard isn’t enough to keep your windows in mint condition. 

A little effort can go a long way, and the windows (no matter how many or few you have) will greatly appreciate your efforts.

6. Peep Your Bilge Pumps

Accidents happen when you’re out at sea. The unexpected can become a reality within a few seconds out in the open water. It’s not likely that your boat would ever start sinking, but it can happen, and you need to always be as prepared as possible.

Seeing as how the bilge pump is the only thing stopping water from filling your boat’s insides, you’ll want to make sure they’re ready to go.

Test the bilge pump and float switch every so often to ensure everything’s working properly and make sure you and your family are safe the next time you set off.

7. Create Your Own Checklist

The best way to make sure your boat is working consistently is for you to introduce consistent checkup and cleaning habits. Take a blast from the past and reintroduce the tried and true checklist method to your boat care.

A good place to start is to include checking the tips listed on this list regularly and throwing in a few frequent cleaning tasks to do.

Keep a note of the last time you did that certain task, so that if you didn’t do it the previous time, you know to do it the next.

Boat Maintenance When in Transit

Whether you’re a novice or expert at proper boat maintenance, there’s always a few more precautions you could be taking. For example, are you using the most efficient method of transporting your boat from your home to your lake house dock?

If not, that will cause unnecessary wear-and-tear that can be avoided by using a trusted boat transport service.

We here at Florida Boat Transport are here for all your logistics needs. For more inquiries, give us a call at 727-360-0200.