A Beginner’s Guide to Boat Repair

You just pulled your new boat off of the lot and are ready to put it in the water. Yet, when you get out there, you unexpectedly break down.

Although this is rare for new boats, the situation can still occur. There are things you need to check before every outing to avoid a breakdown or costly boat repair. Read on to learn more.

Battery Care

To avoid a costly boat repair in the future, check your batteries and cables before going out on the boat each time. The batteries should be in a secure place mounted to the boat.

If the battery is not secure, it could bounce around while you are on the water, shortening its working life. You may have to fix a boat cable if your engine isn’t starting or the battery won’t stay charged.

As a general boat maintenance tip, you should replace the battery every four to five boating seasons.

Fuel Care

As a boat owner, you need to know that you should never use fuel with ethanol. This is because ethanol fuel is not always compatible with rubber and plastic components in the boating system.

If this becomes an issue, it can cause the metal components to corrode. Ethanol will also lead to a higher oxygen content of the fuel. This causes the engine to run hot and eventually fail because of too much carbon build-up.

On a new boat, you need to note the correct ratio in the fuel tanks to prevent oxidation and separation issues. It only takes 15 days for modern fuel to deteriorate and oxidize.

In an EFI system, the fuel won’t be exposed to air because the system closes when the engine isn’t running. You’ll notice gunky deposits if the fuel begins to oxidize.

Before every outing, you should also check the sterndrive or outboard engine oil. The instructions for this process depend on the type of boat you have. Read your owner’s manual to be clear.

You won’t have to worry about the drive lube monitor until the boating season is over. If you notice it getting too low too fast, you should take your boat in for maintenance.

Propeller Care

You don’t have to check the propeller during every boat outing, but you should a few times during the season. Remove the propeller and check if the propshaft has an accumulation of fishing line.

If your new boat passes over a line, it can tangle into the prop. This doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but the line can actually end up getting through the propshaft seal.

If the seal fails, water will enter the gearcase leaving you with an expensive boat repair problem.

Do You Need Boat Repair?

Chances are, if you just got a new boat, you won’t need boat repair any time soon. However, keeping these boat maintenance tips in mind can help you keep up with your boat’s condition and avoid costly fixes.

As a recap, you should check that the batteries are secure every outing along with checking the fuel level. Propeller care needs to be done less but it is still just as important.

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