Tips for Summer Boating – Maintenance & Service
The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer, which can only mean one thing: summer is coming. And with summer comes boating season!
If you're like most boat owners, you probably spend most of the winter hibernating your boat, taking it out for a spin only every now and then. But did you know that this can actually do more harm than good? Boating in cold water can be very hard on your engine, hull, and other components, leading to accelerated wear and tear.
Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned sailor, it’s important to know the right tips for having a safe and fun summer boating experience. Melbourne is a hotspot for watersports – especially in the summertime. If you’re planning on spending some time on the coast, learning about the right ways to enjoy your time on board is important.
So if you want to make sure your boat is in good shape for summer, it's important to do some regular maintenance and service. In this article, we’ll give you some basic tips on summer boating – from boat maintenance and servicing to safe boating practices. So, whether you’re just planning your summer boat trip now or are already out there on the water, read on for essential information that will make your trip a breeze!
1. First things first… before you even think about heading out on the water or catching up the hands on some maintenance & service, get a close checkup on your craft.
Doing almost anything on a boat requires you to have a sharp eye out for potential hazards. To improve your safety on the water you can look at investing in PLB's and MOB's. These items will allow for your location to be shared and established in an emergency situation. Your vessel could also carry an EPIRB.
Boat Maintenance and Servicing:
One of the most important aspects of summer boating is making sure your boat is in good condition before you set sail.
- Choose a spot in the marina, preferably away from the water and fenders to flatten out your boat and stretch your engine and all other components.
- Make sure to drain your bilges and to have a work area that allows you to practically stand up. This also depends on the length of your boat.
- If your anchor need servicing, don't put it off, as these have to be on the first day you're out. Likewise, your compass, air-fins, and all other equipment like life vests usually require checking. It is encouraged to service your life jacket every twelve months to ensure safe use. You can get this done at Sundance Chandlery.
- Be sure to have a few tools handy, including visor and hand broom, broom rods, spray bottles, water hose, life ring and water pumps should you find yourself in need of it.
If all of the above looks like too much work, get in touch with our Service team located at Sandringham who can get your ready for the summer.
2. Don't procrastinate – Your boat's mechanical systems will start to age and lose their oil over time. Keep a log of your maintenance and service, so you and or family know what needs to be done next.
The best time to do some basic boat maintenance is in March and April. This will give your engine oil time to circulate into the engine, making it easier to start your engine in the spring and eliminating any contamination that may already be in your engine.
You should definitely take it all apart, clean/deflate/remove old lube, and remove your intake screen for good exposure to keep them clean from dust, bugs, and debris intake. Even opening up your cooling and muffler assembly helps.
Be sure to rotate the oil, oil filter, radiator, air filter, and belts when cleaning. You’ll do the same for the spark plugs. Be sure to bleed the oil and add new oil before starting. Also, you need to clean the injectors and filters.
A quick can of caulk is also a good inexpensive investment. It also helps that the housing on those things will eventually start to wear, causing them to leak in extreme temperatures like summer.
3. Before you head out on the water
The best way to prepare your boat for summer is to do a little bit of maintenance every month. Here are some tips for both powerboats and yachts:
- Check running rigging if you are on a yacht
- Clean the hull and inspect the propeller.
- Check the engine and cooling system for leaks
- Ensure your vessel is well maintained – including sufficient fuel and charged batteries
- Check you are carrying the required safety equipment
- Know the state and local waterway rules
If you're not comfortable doing your own maintenance, our service team is always willing to assist.
Looking for more information head to https://betterboating.vic.gov.au/
Our team are here to make your boating experience as enjoyable as possible. If you’re ready to make the most of your boating lifestyle, we’d love you help you buy, upgrade, sell or service your boat.