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There are a host of things to do when preparing your boat for winter storage. Add one more reminder to the list: taking care of the boat battery. You should keep the batteries at home with you over the winter. Place them on a non-conductive stand and provide a trickle charge to them. This will keep them alive over the winter. Then, make sure you check the battery water every couple of weeks. Additionally, visit the website of your boat manufacturer for specific winterizing information about your particular model of boat.
If you are like most boaters, you have invested a lot of money in your water hobby. Even though taking proper care of your boat over the winter takes time and additional investment, it is worth it. The winter season can do great harm to your boat. Cold and freezing weather can cause severe damage and corrosion. Then, in the spring, your boat may not be safe or water-ready without significant repair.
One of the most important off-season items you need for your boat is a good cover. This will protect your boat from rain, snow and freezing temperatures. However, choose a cover that allows some air to circulate.
Sport boats have a sleek and shiny appearance making them fun to watch and exciting to drive. Fortunately, many newer boat maintenance products are now on the market to help you keep your sport boat looking its best without taking too much of your free time. Here are a few additional tips for keeping your sport boat looking sleek:
*Wash your boat at least once a week. This will ensure the finish lasts longer.
*Routinely inspect and clean the bottom of your boat. It comes into constant contact with the water and needs special attention. This tip may even save you money on fuel.
*Spend regular time cleaning the boat's interior, including carpet, upholstery and wood accents. This will preserve the value of your boat.
After you have enjoyed a great season on the water, you may be inclined to just put your boat in its storage area and wait for next spring. However, a variety of maintenance should be handled first such as:
*Clean the hull of the boat
*Grease all parts that require it
*Check the antifreeze and top it off
*Check with your manufacturer about additional winterizing requirements for your specific boat model.
If you're like most people, you take great pride in how your boat appears. But, as all boating enthusiasts know, a long season on the water can take its toll on a boat. In some cases, you may need to re-paint your boat to keep it looking good. To decide if you need to re-paint in the off-season, follow these steps:
*Wash the boat with a mild soap. Make sure you clean all the dirt well that has collected over the season.
*Rinse and dry.
*Splash some water across the surface.
*If the water left behind forms beads on the surface, your varnish is still in good condition and may last another season.
While you are out on the open water enjoying the boating season, you probably don't pay much attention to the potential damage that might be caused by water seeping into your boat. But, one of the most important off-season maintenance procedures you can follow is eliminating built-up water in areas such as:
*traps under sinks
*any other area that could be hiding even a small area of water.
If left untreated, this hidden water can cause serious damage to your boat over the winter.
One of the most important and often overlooked parts of boat ownership is proper boat maintenance. A properly maintained boat is a long lasting boat. Here are a few tips on some common boat repair and maintenance.
Aluminum boats are one of the best low maintenance boats available. Occasionally, they will require washing, buffing and application of anti-corrosive agents but that is the extent of common maintenance. If they ever get damaged, or if the rivets come loose with age, professional boat restoration will be required due to the need for specialized aluminum boat repair equipment.
Unlike other boats, sport boats require quite a bit of maintenance to keep them at the peak of their design performance. Constant washing, waxing and driveline care is always necessary. Engines need to be maintained, steering components need to be adjusted and finally, because of the nature of the design, all components need to be checkout out prior to every serious day long outing.
Many boat engines (i.e. inside the hull, inboard engines) and boat motors (i.e. on the transom, outboard motors) require some but not much maintenance to keep running. Most outboards require the fluid in the lower part near the propeller (lower unit) to be changed. Inboards, like a car engine, require periodic oil changes. Both require the prop to be in good condition because a bent prop can cause major problems due to vibration, possibly even leading to major boat engine repair.
Fiberglass boats are very rugged but occasionally need repair due to a collision or other mishap. One of the biggest repairs is boat gelcoat repair. The fiberglass hull's outer layer is a thick, hard coating call gel-coat. This layer protects the softer structural and sometimes decorative layer underneath. Because it's on the outside, it is most often in need of repair. Unfortunately, it's also the most difficult to repair to the clarity and uniformity required in a quality repair.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|