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Five easy ways to maintain your fishing boat

by Chelsea Smith 14 Aug 04:54 UTC
Shurhold Deck Mops © Martin Flory Group

Proper boat maintenance is a crucial boating skill that you must learn. In fact, with proper boat upkeep and care, your vessel will run safely and smoothly for a very long time. Whether you go boating on the seas, rivers, or lakes, proper maintenance guarantees that your boat provides many memories. Proper maintenance goes beyond a visual inspection of your vessel every time before heading out. You have to adhere to your regular maintenance schedule and care for it after every outing.

Luckily, most maintenance tasks are manageable and don't need a mechanic. However, if your boat needs significant repair, then it's a good idea to call a professional. This way, you can be safe the next time you go boating. So, here are five easy methods of maintaining your fishing boat.

5 Simple Ways of Maintaining Your Boat

1. Battery Care and Maintenance

One of the essential items that are overlooked by many people is the battery. We all have been out fishing on a perfectly warm, no wind day having fun, and then our battery dies. A dead battery can turn a great day into a nightmare. In fact, one of the scariest experiences of most fishermen is their engine's failing them when they are in the middle of the sea fishing.

Therefore, make sure your batteries are well-maintained. Here are some few considerations to managing and maintain your batteries:

  • When you start your engine, listen to how the trolling motor or engine sounds. If the trolling battery doesn't last long or your engine has a hard time cranking, it's time for a change.
  • Make sure your trolling battery is charged fully before heading out. Using the battery when partially charged can damage it.
  • Make sure you have a reliable charger that automatically shuts down when the battery is fully charged.
  • If your boat is using a lead-acid battery, make sure you confirm the water levels. And if it is low, you can always top-up.
  • You can replace your normal trolling motor's battery with a lithium-ion battery. These batteries can maintain a higher voltage for an extended period than the lead-acid batteries.
  • Get high-quality marine batteries for your engine and trolling motor. Marine deep batteries can take charging and drain more readily than an automotive battery. They can also endure the pounding your vessel takes when on water.
  • Never leave your batteries just sitting there during the offseason. You can take them out, lubricate the terminals, clean them up, charge them, and then store them somewhere safe.
2. Hard Parts Maintenance

Depending on the number of hours you spend fishing, you must always be aware of when your vessel needs a filter or oil change. And make sure you always check for fuel or oil leaks before heading out either on the water or the bilge. Remember, most boats need an oil change every 50 to 100 hours. You can confirm this with the manufacturers and then adhere to a strict oil changing schedule.

You can also protect all the electric components in your boat by ensuring they are well lubricated with marine-grade grease. Another part of the boat that should be checked regularly is the props. Your prop shaft can be easily damaged or intertwined with fishing lines. When fishing lines get wrapped around your boat's shaft, they can easily destroy your vessel. And if not removed in time, the line can destroy your shaft's seal and either cause gearcase problems or leaks.

3. Use Fuel Stabilizer

While a huge percentage of the daily maintenance involves cleaning your vessel, one crucial task that you should always be on top of is the fuel quality and level. So, whether you are picking up some gear or parts from a local outdoor shop or stopping at the pump for a refill, make sure you get a fuel stabilizer.

A fuel stabilizer can help keep your fuel clean and fresh, which will keep your engine functioning at its peak. A fuel stabilizer can also extend the life of your boat's engine and fuel. It is very affordable and readily available, plus its many benefits outweigh the cost of repairing your engine.

4. Always Clean Your Boat Once You Get Back to Shore

Fishing the whole day is more than just work; it is a commitment! And one of the critical things you must do after a successful fishing day is clean the boat. After all, nobody wants a vessel that attracts flies. After offloading everything, you can wash the boat using mild soapy water. For this process, all you need is a bucket filled with soapy water and a sponge. Make sure you get rid of all the dried blood splatters.

You can finally rinse off the detergent and then clean your gear. Next, apply a vinyl protectant on all your Eisenglass, vinyl surfaces, and seat cushions. A protectant can protect these surfaces from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Don't forget to wax your hull. Waxing the hull will prevent oxidation and give it a shiny, beautiful look. Some elbow grease and a good polish can help you maintain your boat.

5. Wipe off Moisture

It is advisable to always have some towels around to wipe off your vessel when it's wet. When we talk about wiping all the moisture, we don't mean cleaning it when you get offshore, although that is important. We mean wipe all form of moisture, remember any form of moisture can be dangerous to your vessel if left lingering.

  • Scupper water can leave stains on your hull
  • Morning dew can easily encourage mold
  • Saltwater can easily corrode parts of your watercraft.
So, drying off any moisture when you see it can go a very long way.

Final Thoughts

Fishing is a fun activity, and proper boat maintenance can help keep it that way. Proper maintenance can guarantee the safety of everyone on your boat when fishing. Remember, a well-maintained boat rarely breaks down. And if done correctly, it can save you a lot of money and keep your boat as good as new.

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