Maintaining Your Sailboat

Small or big, souped up or basic, there is one thing that all sailboats need- maintenance. Fortunately, doing routine maintenance or even small repairs isn’t that tough. The importance of doing maintenance on sailboats is beneficial in the long run. Its vital to follow the following steps when maintaining your sailboat so as to avoid repairs that are always costly;

  1. Washing your sailboat regularly- Any time you sail in saltwater, make sure that you properly rinse the boat thoroughly with some fresh water after all outings so as to remove the salty residues
  2. Use cleaners and soaps made purposely for boats so as to protect the boat’s finish
  3. Change the boat’s oil on regular basis- four-stroke inboards, outboards as well as stern drive boats do require oil changes on regular occasions. Although the frequency varies on different models, the general rule is that you must ensure that you change oil after every 100 hours of operation or once every year
  4. Checking the propeller must be part of every pre-launch routine- if you have a stern boat drive or an outboard ensure that you use deep sockets to ensure that the propeller nut remains secure.
  5. Remove the propeller on several occasions during the season to ensure that fishing lines do not get wrapped up around the shaft of the propeller- if it gets wrapped around the propeller; make contact with a dealer so that he can do an inspection on the gear case since fishing lines mostly cause gear-case leaks. Another reason why you must call a dealer is that gear case services are not jobs that you can perfectly do on your own
  6. Whenever you take off the propeller, ensure that you do an inspection on the dents, nicks as well as other damages-its okay if your propeller is missing some paint but make sure you do some repairs whenever you notice any sign of impact. Even the smallest dents can make the boat to lose up to 10% and this will make it to burn more fuel as compared to normal days
  7. Put liberal amounts of waterproof on propeller shafts and re-install hardware and propellers in the same order you used when taking them off. Tighten the propeller nuts according to the specifications of the manufacturer. Never forget to put new cotter pins whenever you have outboards

Tips

  • – Long-handled boat brushes or spray wands ensure that the process of washing sailboats is quite easy. Its easy to find these tools at all local marine retail stores
  • – Its unfortunate that there aren’t available shops for quick oil change on boats; this means that the responsibility of changing oil on sailboats rests on the shoulder of the owner or the local dealer
  • – It’s quite easy to change oil in the engine of the boat. On most occasions, its much easier as compared to changing oil in the car

Warning 

Whenever you are tempted to avoid the responsibility of cleaning a sailboat always remember that boats that have clean hull bottoms are more fuel-efficient as compared to hulls that have dirty hulls. Hulls filed with algae and other aquatic scums have the potential of adding up to a maximum of 30% in fuel costs.

Special thanks to our friends over at Cellerciser for their support!