Vessel maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore: get into a routine and maintain your boat to prevent breakdown on the water.
The four main areas to check are your:
Manufacturers usually recommend a service by a specialised workshop at least once a year- even if the motor is hardly used. This ensures vital internal parts such as the water pump are checked. If your motor is used regularly, you should change your gear-box oil every three months.
- replace your pull cord if it is fraying
- check all wiring
- clean spark-plugs, check gaps and replace if required
- check compression
- lubricate all moving parts
- check and re-fill gear case oil
- clean cooling system passages
- check propeller and nut – sand or file any small cracks
- check and replace the sacrificial anode if required.
- always replace old fuel – never go out with fuel which is more than six months old
- make sure you have enough fuel for the trip – 1/3 out, 1/3 back and 1/3 in reserve
- clean your fuel tank at least once a year with a suitable solvent and dispose of old fuel responsibly
- inspect the fuel tank for cracks or corrosion
- always replace old fuel after periods of inactivity
- inspect fuel lines, manual priming bulb and connections for cracks and leaks
- clean out or replace fuel filter
- for fuel disposal please make contact with your local council for details.
- top up battery cells with distilled water and check each cell with a hydrometer
- the battery should be charged at a rate that is suitable to the battery and should never be over-charged
- batteries should be secured in brackets
- battery terminals, cables and casing should be kept clean
- grease terminals regularly
- test all equipment that uses the battery.
- clean and paint your boat regularly
- inspect boat for corrosion and cracks
- ensure all bungs are suitable and in good condition
- check for water and fuel leaks
- check and grease drain flaps
- ensure bilges are clean and dry
- test steering for stiffness – oil cables with the correct lubricant.
We also recommend keeping the following items on board:
- engine manual
- flywheel pull rope
- spare ‘O’ rings for fuel connector
- new spark-plugs
- spark-plug spanner (or diesel injector spanner)
- ratchet with extender and shifting spanner
- spare fuses, bung and shackle
- sharp knife, pliers and screwdrivers
- spare propeller nut, washer, split pins and socket for propeller nut
- steel wool to clean battery terminals
- de-watering spray (RP7 or similar)
- spare oil and funnel
- spare key and stop harness (kill switch lanyard).