If you've always fancied the idea of a life on the ocean wave, you may be planning to purchase a boat very soon in readiness for the upcoming season. While these are relatively simple devices, you nevertheless need to make sure that you pay attention to maintenance in some critical areas if you're going to have an uninterrupted season. What do you need to bear in mind before you cast off?
Firstly, you need to take care of the motor by paying attention to a simple, yet crucial maintenance task.
Each time you plan a day of boating, begin by checking the oil level. Don't make the mistake of thinking that this is similar to your car, as a typical marine engine may use more oil than you might expect. Consequently, get used to topping off before setting out, as you need to maintain good oil pressure for best performance. Low levels can lead to increased wear and tear on the engine and more maintenance bills, down the road.
You should also make a note in your diary to change the filter and oil at the end of the season or more frequently if you use the boat a lot.
When you get back from a trip, especially if you're going through some fairly shallow water, have a look at the impeller to make sure that you haven't accumulated grass, weeds and other rubbish. This material can also get into the coolers and can cut off the flow of necessary water to the engine. Have a look in your owner's manual, if you're not sure where you should be looking.
Next, check the transmission fluid to your sterndrive, as this is one of the most hard-working components on the vessel. Once again, get used to topping up as necessary and changing the fluid completely once or twice per season. You don't want to risk a failure with any part of your transmission system, as it could be not only expensive but time-consuming to fix. If you do need sterndrive repairs, don't put them off.
If you're diligent when it comes to maintenance and observation, you should be able to go through a season without any issues at all. If you're not sure where to look or what you should do, get in touch with a marine repair expert who will be able to teach you at the outset and bring you up to speed.