Boat maintenance checks
So what should we do before using our boats for the first time after an extended lay up? We need to check all our systems and safety gear are operational and in date! Today we are going to look at the importance of correct machinery maintenance as the single highest cause for lifeboat callouts to vessel incidents was for machinery failure totalling 1322 callouts which was 36% of all callouts to vessels attended by the RNLI in the figures released for 2018.
What should we as boaters do?
We should ensure that our engines and outboards are properly serviced at the start of the season along with all through hull penetrations. If you are performing your own maintenance make sure you refer to your engine manufacturers operation and maintenance manuals and follow the instructions listed within. We do not want to exceed manufacturer maintenance interval guidelines but we can perform basic maintenance more often if desired.Things we should be changing / checking: Engine oil, oil filters, fuel filters, coolant, water pump impellors (if they are manufactured with rubber impellor blades as these can harden through lack of use and make poor contact with the water pump housing leading to poor coolant circulation flow ), spark plugs (on petrol engines) clean or replace air filters. Check condition of all belts, hoses and clamps and check all the through hull penetrations are in good order and that all sea cocks are fully opening and closing freely but not just engine, make sure you keep on top of all toilet, sink and any other seacocks that are fitted as if a hose connected to them breaks or becomes dislodged then a boat can flood and sink rapidly.Boat Maintenance Checks: Keeping Your Vessel in Top Condition
Boat ownership can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it also requires ongoing maintenance to keep your vessel in top condition. Regular maintenance checks are essential for ensuring the safety, performance, and longevity of your boat. In this blog post, we will outline some of the important boat maintenance checks that every boat owner should perform.
- Engine Maintenance: Regular maintenance of your boat’s engine is critical to ensure its performance and longevity. Check the oil and oil filter, spark plugs, belts, and hoses regularly. Make sure to replace any parts that are worn, damaged, or leaking. It’s also important to check the engine’s coolant level and condition, as well as the battery and its terminals.
- Hull Inspection: Regularly inspect your boat’s hull for any cracks, dents, or damage. Check the boat’s bottom for signs of marine growth or debris that may be affecting the boat’s performance. Also, inspect the boat’s propeller for any damage or debris that may be affecting its performance.
- Deck Inspection: Check your boat’s deck and superstructure for any signs of damage, wear, or corrosion. Inspect the boat’s hardware and fittings, including cleats, shackles, and winches, for any signs of corrosion or damage. Also, check the boat’s deck drains and scuppers to ensure they are free from debris and functioning properly.
- Electrical System Check: Inspect the boat’s electrical system, including the wiring and battery, for any signs of damage or wear. Check the boat’s lighting system, including the navigation lights, to ensure they are functioning properly. Also, make sure the boat’s electrical system is protected from saltwater and moisture.
- Safety Equipment Check: Regularly inspect your boat’s safety equipment, including life jackets, fire extinguishers, and flares, to ensure they are in good condition and readily accessible. Make sure the boat’s distress signals and emergency signaling devices are in working order.
In conclusion, regular boat maintenance checks are essential for ensuring the safety, performance, and longevity of your vessel. These checks should be performed on a regular basis and any necessary repairs or replacements should be made promptly. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your boat is in top condition and ready for your next boating adventure.