How Often to Service Your Boat

There’s a funny joke circulating that boat is an acronym for “bring on another thousand,” indicating boats are expensive, require a lot of maintenance, and often require repairs. For some people, this is the truth. For other people, their boats last all the time without any issues, and they don’t really need to do any work to it other than the required maintenance. It all depends on how well it is maintained among other factors, and it’s why you should know how often to maintain your boat with regular service and other recommended maintenance

When to Service Your Boat 

Your boat won’t need the same amount of service as someone else’s, but you do need to service it regularly. The best time to take it in for some maintenance is at the beginning of the season after it’s been stored for the winter season. This allows you to check for oil issues, leaks, or other problems before you take it out for the first time all season. You get to take it out feeling confident everything is in good working order, and you have time to have things repaired that might need repair before your first outing of the season is ruined. 

Oil Changes

If you have a boat, you must get the oil changed just like a car. Unlike a car, you must check your hours rather than your miles. If your boat goes 100 hours, you need an oil change. This might be a bit different based on the type of boat you have and how you use it, but it’s the general rule for most boats. If you’re not someone who uses it 100 hours per year, you’ll stick with the regular once-a-year change and be done with it. 

Service the Engine 

Your boat has an engine, and it needs to work if you want your boat to work. It must be serviced annually, and it must be done by a professional. This isn’t to say you can’t do it yourself, but you can do it if you’re familiar with the kind of boat you have, the nature of its needs, and more. The biggest misconception is that your boat doesn’t need service if you don’t use it 100 hours. Your engine is just like your oil. Even if you don’t get to the 100 hour mark in a year, it still needs to be serviced every year. 

Before the Season or After 

It’s really up to you what you want to do, but most people prefer to service their boat prior to the new boating season. You could do it after your final outing of the year before the winter weather arrives, but it’s advantageous to do it when you know you’re getting ready to use it again after it’s been sitting a while. You might not want to bother with the process of making a service appointment in the spring when everyone else is doing the same, but boats need to be serviced when they haven’t been used in a while. 

Tips for Maintaining Your Boat 

To ensure your boat runs longer, looks better, and lasts longer, be sure you’re taking care of it. It must be rinsed and washed following a trip in the water, especially if that trip is in salt water. It’s okay to leave your boat in fresh water, but it does need to be removed, cleaned, and stored when it’s not being used. You want your boat to last you a long time, and it’s easier to make this happen when you keep it maintained and on target for a long life. 

If you have questions about your service needs or how you can get your boat to last longer, the best thing you can do is speak to the dealer about your concerns when you buy the boat. They will tell you what you can do, how you can do it, and what you need to do to keep it in line with its maintenance. It’s not something you can ignore or put off. A poorly maintained boat does not make for fun outings when things stop working and leave you stranded.