Boat Maintenance Tips for Oregon and Washington
Proper maintenance can extend the life of your boat, reduce the need for costly repairs, and help ensure the safety of your passengers in Oregon.
Clean and Care for Your Boat
Wash your boat regularly to prevent the long-term effects of environmental wear and tear. Routine waxing and the use of an anti-fouling paint can also help protect your boat from the elements. Consider using environmentally-safe products whenever possible! Paint with extra chemicals may end up affecting local waterways and rivers!
Portland and Beaverton, Consider a Watercraft Cover
Invest in a cover to keep your boat clean and free from dirt, water, falling leaves and bird droppings, all of which cause damage if left unchecked in Oregon. A cover can also prevent UV rays from breaking down hoses and fading carpets and upholstery. Sun is definitely a consideration no matter where you live!
Routine Boat Inspections
Proper boat maintenance means being actively involved in, and attuned to, all aspects of your vessel. Keep an eye out for everything from loose fittings to fraying ropes to any other areas of your watercraft that may need special attention or replacement. Many times, damages incurred to a watercraft could easily have been prevented by following a preventative watercraft maintenance routine. You can also have a professional vessel inspection. Some locations require it – check online to see if your boat may be subject to one before you put into the water.
Watercraft Battery Care Tips
Depending on the type of battery your boat uses, check to ensure that it is properly charged and that it has the correct fluid levels. Always keep your battery clean, as dampness and dirt can drain your battery.
Flush your engine after every outing, and check everything from your fuel tanks to the clamps on your fuel line for rust, damage or corrosion. Also check your oil for correct levels, proper filtration, and cleanliness. Last, but not least, keep an eye on your engines cooling system to make sure it's functioning correctly.
A crucial aspect of boat maintenance is ensuring that your bilge pump is functioning properly. There's not much that can cause more irreparable damage to a boat than having it sink! In the event that you need to use your pump, you'll want to make sure that your battery system contains enough power to run the pump for a prolonged period of time.
Many boating failures occur as a result of corroded electrical systems, so keeping electrical components dry should be a regular part of your watercraft maintenance routine. Electrical fittings can be protected with a water-repellant, non-conductive grease or corrosion inhibitor.
Boat maintenance doesn't only mean paying attention to your boat when you're actively using it during the warm weather months, Portlanders, you also need to be sure to protect your watercraft through an effective winterization routine. Whether you're able to store your watercraft in a climate controlled environment, or if you have to go with an in-water storage option, please visit Safeco's boat winterization page for more in-depth guidelines.
See Safeco Insurance's Trailer Safety for tips on maintaining your trailer wherever you live.
Stay in the Know Courses
Last but not least, responsible boat maintenance means taking the time to familiarize yourself with all aspects of watercraft care. Consult your owners manual for in-depth guidelines.
If you're new to boating, your boat dealer may know of helpful watercraft safety and training courses that deal specifically with your type of watercraft. Get comfortable with boating terms and definitions. And while it's always important to take the time to learn how to do things yourself, don't be afraid to seek the help of professionals when needed.