Boat ownership is something to take pride in, so keeping your craft clean and in good working order should be important to you. New boat owners are encouraged to learn how to take care of the boat, the trailer, and the engine to avoid mishaps on the road while transporting the boat or in the water during operation.
Seasoned boat owners know this, but it never hurts to do a refresher course. Below are some helpful tips on caring for your new boat:
Make All Your Loan Payments on Time
You might be wondering what boat loans have to do with this. It’s simple. When you pay for something, you take better care of it. Making payments on time each month reminds boat owners that their boat is an investment. How many times have you gotten the urge to wash your new car after making the payment? New boat owners share that same mindset.
Hire a Good Boat Mechanic
Accountants don’t perform brain surgery. If you’re not a boat mechanic, you have no business working on your engine by yourself. It’s okay to do simple things like checking the oil and ensuring propellers and vents are unobstructed. For anything beyond that, hire a professional and let them do regular maintenance and repairs for you. Ask for their advice on DIY tasks.
Wash and Wax Your Boat Regularly
Invest in some boat soap, a scrub brush, boat wax, and some rags, which are some of the basic tools you’ll need to keep your boat clean and shining. If there’s aluminum, get some aluminum cleaner. You’ll also want some stripper to remove old wax buildups and sealant remover to ensure clean surfaces. Doing that regularly eliminates that “duct-taped” look.
Seal Cracks and Replace Torn Sails
Don’t just seal over the old sealant. That’s ineffective and will create unsightly bumps on your boat that make it look like you duct-taped it together. Remove the buildups to give yourself a clean service for sealants and epoxies. If your boat has sailed, replace them when they tear. Patched sails are dangerous, and they look terrible. Appearance matters in the boating world.
Upgrade Technology When You Can
New boats come with most of the bells and whistles. Used boats might need some technology upgrades. Stay on top of maritime developments in the tech world. Items like fish finders and navigation systems are constantly being improved. Satellite internet and the equipment required for it is coming down in price. Now is a good time to invest in those.
Don’t Forget the Trailer
Doing all this work on the boat will be for naught if it falls off the trailer while transporting it. Check the wheels, hitch, and runners on your trailer frequently to make sure that won’t happen. While you’re at it, make sure the lights work when you connect them. Broken signal and brake lights are a safety hazard that will get you pulled over by law enforcement.
The Bottom Line
Pride in ownership is a compelling reason to care for your new boat properly. Resale value is another. Boats depreciate at a much slower rate than cars. In some cases, you can increase their value by upgrading the technology and passenger features of the craft. Constant care helps retain value. Remember that every time you make a payment on that boat loan.