Did you know that the average boat typically lasts between 10 and 25 years?

Regular boat maintenance can dramatically increase the lifespan of your boat. On the other hand, if you don’t carry out essential boat maintenance your boat could deteriorate badly in a short space of time.

Not quite sure how to maintain a boat?

Continue reading for a quick but comprehensive boat maintenance guide.

1. Keep Your Boat Clean

One of the best pieces of boat maintenance advice is to keep your boat as clean as possible. If your boat is dirty, this can accelerate decay.

For instance, if dirt, dust, and debris have accumulated in an awning or canvas spray dodger, this can cause mold growth and eventually help the elements to rot the fabric.

Try to give your boat a good scrub down as often as possible with marine soap, rinsing it well. Aim to wash things like cushion covers and awnings at least every 6 months.

2. Polish Your Gel Coat

Another essential boat maintenance task is polishing your gel coat on a regular basis. By applying a polish you can protect the gel coat from the elements and lengthen its lifespan.

Polishing the gel coat will also keep your boat looking shiny and smart.

To keep your gel coat in tip-top condition, try to polish it with a protective product every 3 to 4 months.

3. Keep Your Hull Barnacle Free

One of the most common boat maintenance tips you’ll hear around the dock is to keep your hull barnacle-free. Cleaning your hull of barnacles and algae will help your boat to glide easily through the water, increasing speed and fuel efficiency. 

If you have recently applied antifouling paint to your boat’s hull you shouldn’t see a lot of barnacle growth. However, make it a point to check regularly and scrape off any barnacles that have developed.

Pay particular attention to your propeller. A fouled-up propeller will impact your boat’s performance severely.

If it seems like you’re constantly scrubbing your hull to get rid of barnacles and algae, then it’s probably time to haul out your boat and redo the antifouling.

4. Inspect and Replace Your Propeller

Another critical boat maintenance task is to inspect your propeller on a regular basis. If there is anything wrong with your prop this could land you in a dangerous situation out at sea. Without a propeller, your engine cannot get you anywhere.

If the blade edges on your propeller are broken or chipped it is time to replace it.

Also, remember that outboard propellers should not be left in the water once you have docked your boat. By raising the prop out of the water you can slow down and discourage barnacle growth. 

5. Revarnish Wood Trim

Does your boat feature any wood trim? If yes, you will need to sand down and re-varnish this every couple of years. Depending on how you store your boat and the conditions in your area, wood trim can quickly take a beating.

If you see that your boat’s trim is starting to sport pealing, cracked, or cloudy varnish, it’s time to get out the sanding paper varnish brush. 

Regular Boat Maintenance Will Extend the Lifespan of Your Vessel and Keep It Looking Smart

Carrying out regular boat maintenance not only extends its lifespan, but it also will make your boat more reliable to use. 

Now that you know some of the basic maintenance tasks for getting your boat ship shape, are you looking for more helpful reads? 

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