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Maintaining Your Boat for Safety

ship propellerNo matter the size of your boat or how much you paid for it, keeping it properly maintained is one of the first keys to safety. Not only will maintenance keep your boat in working order, but routine maintenance will alert you to issues that need prompt attention.

Routine maintenance is fairly simple. While some repairs will obviously require the expertise of a marine mechanic, there is plenty that you can do on your own. With a little elbow grease, you can keep your boat running smooth and safe.

Wash It

You may think that because your boat is in the water frequently that you don’t need to wash it. On the contrary, salt can build up on your vessel, corroding metal and marring your gel coat. Your boat should be rinsed with water after every trip. Give your boat a good scrub down at least once a week with marine boatwash or car wash soap. A soft-bristled brush can help scrape away any salt that refuses to budge.

Change the Oil

Knowing how to change your boat’s oil can save you money. The good news is that it isn’t a difficult undertaking. Do it once and you will find out just how simple it is. When your boat is in the water, start the engine and let it run for five minutes. Turn off the engine and remove your oil’s dipstick. Remove old oil with the oil extractor suction tube. Remove the oil filter and install a new one. Put the dipstick back where it belongs and fill the engine with clean oil.

If you aren’t sure if these steps are the correct ones for your particular vessel, check out your owner’s manual. You will discover how to change the oil and what type of oil your engine calls for. If you are truly not confident in your abilities, a marine mechanic can change your oil for you.

Propeller Check

Inspect your propeller when it is off. Do this at least once a week. Look for dents, nicks and signs of damage. Any sign of impact should alert you to the need for professional inspection. Remove any fishing line, string or seaweed that is wound around your propeller. Keeping your propeller maintained will prevent it from vibrating and your boat to lose performance.

As a boat owner, safety is your responsibility. Routine maintenance is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your vessel is seaworthy. Your owner’s manual will layout routine maintenance suggestions for your particular vessel.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, call our offices today. Our personal injury attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you may be entitled to by law. Call now.

Posted In: Boating Accident, Safety Tips
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