Boat Maintenance Tips for Summer Adventures

Michigan is known for water! We touch 4 of the 5 Great Lakes and have hundreds of inland lakes and rivers! Boating is a huge pastime during the summers here whether it is for recreation or fishing. Boat maintenance during the Michigan summer is crucial to ensure it remains in top condition for your adventures. Here are some tips to keep your boat in great shape:

  1. Regular Cleaning: With the warmer weather, algae and other debris (fish goo) can accumulate on your boat. Regularly clean the hull, deck, and other surfaces with a mild detergent such as Ivory soap or soft scrub to prevent any buildup. Simple green works well for deep cleans!
  2. Inspect for Damage: Check your boat for any signs of damage, such as cracks, dents, or loose fittings. Repair any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

  3. Engine Maintenance: Regularly inspect your boat’s engine for any signs of wear and tear. Change the oil and filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and check the belts, hoses, and other components for any signs of damage.
  4. Check Electrical Systems: Ensure all electrical systems, including lights, navigation tools, and pumps, are in good working order. Replace any bulbs or fuses that are burnt out or damaged.

  5. Inspect Safety Equipment: Check that your boat’s safety equipment, such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, and distress signals, are all in good condition and readily accessible. The US Coast Guard requires one life jacket per person on the boat. You never know when you may need one!
  6. Inspect and Maintain Trailer: If you use a trailer to transport your boat, inspect it for any signs of wear and tear. Make sure rollers are in good working order. If you have bunks make sure the boat fits properly before driving down the road. Check the tires, brakes, lights, and hitch to ensure they are all functioning properly.
  7. Inspect the prop and Running Gear: Inspect the propeller and running gear for any damage or signs of wear. Clean off any marine growth that may have accumulated, and replace any damaged components.

  8. Check Fluid Levels: Make sure all fluid levels, such as coolant, hydraulic fluid, and steering fluid, are at the appropriate levels. You don’t want to be stranded without any steering.
  9. Inspect Fuel System: Check the fuel lines, fittings, and tanks for any signs of leaks or damage. Replace any worn or damaged components, and ensure all connections are tight and secure.

  10. Store Properly: When not in use, and in the slip or on the trailer, store your boat properly to protect it from the elements. Use a boat cover to keep it clean and dry especially if left outside or in a slip.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure your boat stays in great shape throughout the Michigan summer, allowing you to enjoy many memorable days on the water!

I’m a fellow boating lover and fisherman in the West Michigan area! I’m also a Realtor! If you’re looking for a home close to your favorite lake or river, I’d love to help you find your new adventures base camp!

Wyatt Boetsma

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