BOATsmart! USA Knowledge Base

Module 03 - Getting on the Water

Maintaining Your Boat

Don’t let a breakdown spoil a great day on the water. As a responsible boater, you must check and maintain your boat and its equipment on a regular basis. This practice will familiarize you with basic repairs and will help ensure the safety of everyone on the water.

Maintenance Procedure Checklist:

  • Check the hull and bilge for any damages (like cracks and leaks).
  • Check the condition and operation of the outdrive, including:
    • Shafts.
    • Propellers.
    • Nuts and pins.
  • Check the operation and condition of all systems including:
    • Fuel, electrical and cooling systems.
  • Check the condition of hoses and lines (look for cracks).
  • Check the condition of the throttle control.
  • Clean and tighten any corroded or loose electrical connections.
  • Check the condition of the navigation lights.
  • Check and clean the engine’s back-fire flame arrestor.
  • Check and replace the engine oil, if necessary.
  • Check and replace the air and fuel filters, if necessary.
  • With the engine running, check the operation of the gauges.
  • Check the condition of the battery (a fully charged battery should hold its charge for 24 hours).

Why should you maintain your boat and it’s equipment? In the last few years, 8% of reported boating accidents and 4% of reported boating-related deaths involved factors linked to faulty boat equipment that had not been properly maintained.  

Download a free BOATsmart!® Maintenance Checklist here.

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