Performing routine boat maintenance not only protects your investment by helping to maintain the resale value of your boat, it also decreases the likelihood of expensive repairs and helps to keep your passengers safe. In addition to physical maintenance it’s critical to maintain ample boat insurance coverage and understand what your boat insurance covers and what it doesn’t. That being said boat insurance is not a replacement for proper care and routine maintenance. Here are some tips to ensure that your vessel remains in tip top shape for years to come.
Make sure your boat is washed frequently, especially if you take it into salt water. It’s also a good idea to rinse your boat with fresh water after boating in salt water to get rid of salt residues. You can use a spray wand or a long-handled brush to make the job easier. There are also gentle cleaners and soaps designed especially for boats.
Regular waxing will also do wonders for maintaining the gel coat and protecting the paint on your boat. If you neglect the paint eventually your boats shiny exterior will eventually be replaced with a dull chalky appearance. Once you reach this point it’s unlikely waxing will be able to restore it. To get the new boat look you will have to have it repainted.
Keeping your boat covered can protect it from sun damage and keep your interior looking like new for years to come. If you do use a boat cover make sure that there is proper ventilation or that the interior has an opportunity to dry out before you add the cover.
Check the propeller on a stern-drive or outboard boat before you take to the water, making sure that its retaining nut is secure by testing it with a deep well socket.
The bilge pump is another critical piece of equipment. In the event of a swamping you will want to be able to rely on your bilge pump to remove excess water from the boat. To do this you will also want to make sure that your battery system can sustain it for a long duration.
Don’t forget to flush your engine after each trip and check your oil and fuel levels as well as run the blower (if applicable) before you depart again. If you are storing your boat on land remove the drain plug, just make sure you put it back before launching your boat in the water again.
The oil needs to be changed, just as with a car. Regular oil changes are necessary with all stern drive boats, inboards and four-stroke outboards. Your local dealer will be able to do this for you or you can check your owner’s manual for instructions.
Whether you winterize your boat or you pay someone else to do it for you make sure that the boat is adequately covered and that the drain plug is pulled just in case water does seep in. Check your owner’s manual for complete winterization instructions.
First and foremost don’t allow your boat insurance policy to expire. Just one mechanical problem or unfortunate accident could lead to huge losses. You should also periodically update your policy. Your boat insurance policy has a limit of liability up to the agreed upon value of the vessel. If you install a new engine or perform other upgrades to your boat you will want to update your boat insurance policy to reflect the new value of the boat.
These simple maintenance steps will go a long way to helping protect your boat so it can provide you with great memories. If you have questions about boat insurance for your boat please speak with one of our boat insurance representatives at 1-800-748-0224 or visit the Global Marine Insurance online boat quote tool by clicking here.