Owning a boat can be a lot of fun, but if you don’t take proper care of it, it can also be quite expensive. As with a car, regular, preventative maintenance can save you lots of time, money, and stress in the long run. If you follow these simple tips, you can keep your boat roaming the high seas for years to come.

1. Keep Your Engine Happy

Without a working engine, your boat’s not going to get very far. That’s why you need to pay close attention to everything your engine does and remember to take it in for routine maintenance checks. If something does go wrong, having a reliable source for replacement marine parts can make engine repairs go much more smoothly.

2. Clean the Exterior

A clean boat exterior certainly looks nice, but it can also extend the life of the boat itself. The water is host to all manner of plants and animals, and many of them may try to make themselves at home on your hull. Removing them can prevent damage and keep you from spreading certain species to where they don’t belong. Additionally, regular cleaning can keep salt from eating into the exterior and causing structural integrity problems.

3. Clean the Interior

Boats are, by their very nature, wet environments, which, if you aren’t careful, can lead to things like mold and mildew. To keep your boat from becoming a dirty, smelly mess that no one wants to board, it’s important to regularly clean and disinfect the interior. A little extra elbow grease now means you won’t have to replace gross, moldy upholstery later.

4. Store It Right

Unless you’re a pirate, you likely have to spend a fair amount of time on land. This means having to store your boat. If your boat is small enough and you have the space, storing it indoors, perhaps in a garage or boathouse, can prevent rain or sun damage. If you must store your boat outside, a good boat cover can offer similar protection. Proper storage can keep your boat pristine and ready to go once you’re able to get back out on the water.

Taking care of your vessel doesn’t have to be a hassle. Preventative maintenance, proper storage, and a little TLC can go a long way to take the stress out of owning a boat. The next time you go out on the water, these guidelines will allow you to do so with peace of mind.

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