There are few things more exhilarating than cruising along a lake or hitting the high seas in a boat. It’s no wonder that there are approximately 12 million registered boats in the United States! Whether it’s fishing, water skiing, traveling, or all the above, boating is one of the country’s most popular recreational activities. No matter how or where you use your boat, simple boat care and the proper maintenance can avoid expensive repairs in the future and make your boating adventures safe and relaxing.
Boat Maintenance Checklist
Boat maintenance is like automobile maintenance in many ways. There are some basic items that require upkeep by the owner and a few items that need professional servicing. The most important thing you can do as a boat owner is to keep it clean, well lubricated, and covered. Use a marine-grade grease as it’s long lasting and provides added protection against rust and corrosion, keep canvas, covers, and upholstery dry and clean to prevent mold and mildew, and keep the bilge clean so you can be aware of leaking fuel or fluids and avoid a clogged bilge pump.
Annual boat care such as oil changes and painting the hull bottom are also important to the upkeep of your boat, as is regular buffing and polishing of the fiberglass and gel coat that will quickly oxidize if not washed and waxed regularly.
A basic checklist for boat care includes:
- Maintain the engine and lubricate mechanical parts
- Take care of the hull and topsides
- Service the electrical system and batteries
- Clean and protect the canvas and upholstery
- Monitor, flush and service the bilge pumps and plumbing
- Check wiper blades, prop, running lights, and anchors for damage and function
- Service the HVAC, heater, and appliances as needed
- Flush the engine/motor with fresh water after every use in saltwater
In general, you can expect to pay about 10% of the cost of your boat in annual maintenance. Neglecting basic care can be very costly, especially if you use it in saltwater environments.
Salt Water’s Effect on Boats
All elements can affect a boat’s condition but if you are a saltwater boater, your boat will require extra TLC. That’s because salt water and sea air are extremely harsh on marine equipment. In fact, salt-laden air and water are some of the worst contributors to corrosion and can rapidly cause fiberglass deterioration, oxidation, and pitting.
Since engines are made of metal, they are susceptible to fast pitting and rusting and salt expedites that process. One vital action you need to take after boating in saltwater is to flush your boat’s engine with fresh water to rinse both the engine and the cooling system. Further, saltwater will cause the fiberglass on your boat to fade, crack, and scratch faster compared to freshwater, so it’s important to regularly rinse the hull. It’s also crucial to keep metals and electrical wiring sealed and as dry as possible to avoid damage. Finally, using antifouling paint can act as a barrier between salt and the hull which can prevent weakening and corrosion of metal.
Oxidation Removal & Swirl-Free Polishing for Boat Care
Whether you’re a freshwater or saltwater boater, oxidation removal is a time-consuming chore that can be less than enjoyable. Fortunately, there is a fast, easy, affordable way to make your boat look like brand-new in half the time you’re used to. The unique BuffPro® buffer/polisher removes oxidation, corrosion, and swirl-marks and provides a high-gloss shine in less than half the time of traditional rotary buffer/polishers.
The unique drum-style buffer was designed to be simple, lightweight, and comfortable to use. Best of all, it removes old swirl marks and holograms and makes it impossible to create new ones. BuffPro is also safe on metal, paint, plastic, fiberglass and gel coat. Check out our short how-to videos and see how easy it is – even for a beginner – to get a perfect shine the first time.
Special All-in-One Marine Restoration Kit
BuffPro is all about making boat maintenance and buffing and polishing as easy as possible. Therefore, we offer a special price on our all-in-one Marine Restoration Kit with free shipping anywhere in the continental US. The kit includes the BuffPro plus all the compounds, pads, and accessories you need to get the job done fast with results you’ve only ever dreamt of.
We love hearing from our customers and those who need buffing and polishing advice. Be sure to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or need help ordering. We also offer convenient online ordering 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-800-699-4160.