We are halfway through the boating season for much of the country. At the beginning of each season we all have a checklist we go through before we use our boats for the first time and at the end of the season we all have a winterizing checklist. But what about a mid season list? Maintenance just two times a year is not enough to ensure a trouble free season. Here is a list of some of the things you should consider doing mid-year.
•Bottom clean or just a pressure wash. Mid year bottom growth can significantly slow down your boat or make you work your engine harder to keep your cruising speed.
•Oil change on your engine or generator. Depending on how many hours you have put on them it might be a good idea to think about some fresh oil and a filter.
•Gear oil check and/or change in your outdrive or transmission. At the very least you should check your oil for signs of water or extensive metal filings. A quick check now could lead to less costly repairs if an issue is found.
•Wash and wax. Often overlooked during the season a good scrubbing and coat of wax will help your boat keep its shine for the rest of the season.
•Canvas cleaning and waterproofing or replacment. By now, even if you waterproofed your canvas early in the season, it is likely starting to leak. Also, the canvas shops are usually less busy this time of year so cost of having the canvas redone now might be less costly than early or late season.
•Check and/or change anodes. Always a good check to do in the middle of the season. Signficant wear on anodes that are only a few months old could be a sign of other electrical issues with your boat or dockside power supply.
•Tune up. Most people wait until they have issues to do this but a simple tune up can save you from a break down in the middle of a nice sunny day. At the very least it will help to improve fuel economy.
•Fuel filter change. With ethanol based fuels being used so widely changing your fuel filters on a regular basis is a must and will help to avoid costly carberator or fuel injector rebuilding or replacment.
•Sea water pump impellers. Often done at the beginning or end of a season this is something everyone should be looking at during the warmer summer months. Excessive weed growth can often cause sea water pumps to be starved of water. Often you will not know you have a problem until that pesky overheat alarm goes off.
These are just a few of the things you should be thinking about as August comes upon us. Remember, a little more time and effort on your part now will most definitely lead to less of a headache in the future. And with the limited boating season many of us have any downtime can be very frustrating!