November 4, 2020

3 Critical Steps in Marine Maintenance

3 Critical Steps in Marine Maintenance
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Nothing quite compares to hopping on board a boat and getting out on the open water. Recreational activities like fishing, skiing and sight-seeing are relaxing enjoyable pastimes for many. Nothing can spoil a day of boating, however, like problems with the engine or other on-board equipment. Rusted or broken marine hose clamps, leaky fuel lines or engines that won’t start can bring an otherwise exciting day on the water to a disappointing halt.

Seasoned boaters know that keeping equipment maintained is part of boat ownership. They devote the time and effort necessary to take care of it regularly. Much of the maintenance required consists of a keen eye while persistently inspecting the vessel. The critical part of this task is knowing what to look for and experienced boaters look for the following items.

Vessel Hull

The hull should be inspected with an eye toward any possible damage points that may have occurred. Regularly cleaning the hull helps to uncover damage that might otherwise go undetected. Running a bare hand along its length and width can identify irregularities that elude visual detection.

Vessel Fluids

Fuel lines, lubrication systems and hydraulics are just three of the fluid systems requiring thorough inspection. Connections between reservoirs, hoses and points on the engine are primary potential failure points. Inline filters and the connections to hoses are yet another possible failure point. Weathering and time deteriorate these components which should be replaced when signs of wear show up.

Vessel Steerage and Engine

Linkages and rudder parts that allow directional control should be inspected for mechanical failures, wear and proper lubrication where needed. Propellor blades should be carefully examined for damage and to ensure a solid connection to the engine shaft. Engines damage can sometimes show up as fluids leaking, unusual sounds or excessive vibration.

Carefully examining a vessel from bow to stern is the owner’s best guard against unexpected failures that interfere with boating enjoyment. Any recommended maintenance in owner’s and operator’s documentation should be attended to regularly as well. Proper attention to inspections and prompt corrective action make for smooth sailing.


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