The natural order of importance when it comes to personal assets. Of course, if you’re like many boaters, the boat might even make it higher up on that list.

No matter where your boat fits on your list of priorities, it’s your responsibility as a boat owner to ensure that it’s in good working order when you’re ready to use it. That means keeping up with a few regular maintenance items.

Keep reading to learn our top four boat maintenance tips to protect your precious investment.

1. If it’s Broke, Fix It

Wear and tear are normal, but it’s never okay to allow something to sit broken for weeks or months at a time. Cording and material on upholstered seats can rip and snag easily with regular use. Fix any rips to keep them from growing larger and causing more issues.

Rails can become wobbly over time. Rips in the carpet or broken flooring can present a mold or tripping hazard. Repair these areas immediately for your own safety.

Also, check the underside of the boat any time it’s out of the water. If you spot any cracks in the coating, get those fixed asap to avoid worse damage.

2. Polish Up Your Cleaning Skills

Boating is a dirty job. Clean your boat after every outing to ensure that it stays in tip-top shape for many years. This is especially important if you’re boating in saltwater.

Stay on top of mold and mildew. Boat materials are made to be in and around water, but that doesn’t make them immune to mold and mildew buildup. Clean out storage compartments and live wells with a biodegradable cleaning solution every time you use them.

Vacuum up dirt out of seats and carpets. Hose down the outside of the boat after each trip. This helps protect the finish and ensures you aren’t transporting any animals or grime with you.

3. Know Thy Engine

Pay attention to how the engine sounds and feels on the water. If you notice anything strange, like ticks, jolts, or jerking motions, get it checked out by a professional asap.

Check fuel and oil levels before you hit the water. Never let your boat run too low on either of these. Flush the engine after every outing to make sure you remove mud, plantlife, and saltwater from the interior.

Regularly inspect hoses, wires, and lines and replace anything that looks like it’s showing signs of age. Regular use can cause the bolts and screws to loosen. Put your hands on the engine and check to make sure everything is tight and in place.

4. Keep Your Propeller Close to Your Heart

When you buy boat props, you want to protect your investment. Check the propeller regularly for nicks, dings, and dents. Any of these issues can cause your boat to run a less-than-perfect capacity.

Make sure the propeller and shaft are greased properly. Check the shaft for weeds and fishing line that may get wrapped around it. All of these precautions are especially important if you’re boating in shallow water because you never know what you might bump into.

Boat Maintenance 101

With these simple boat maintenance tips, you can keep your boat running smoother longer. You’ll have fewer trips to the shop and that means more time on the water. It’s a win-win situation!

The propeller is the heart of the boat. Without a good prop, you can consider yourself dead in the water. Contact us at The Delta Propeller Company today to ask about replacing your old, busted propeller.