- Boating Tips
As the weather begins to warm up, you might be getting ready to take your boat out on the water; however, you want to make sure that your boat is up to the challenge. That is why, every Spring you should get a boat tune-up. You might be wondering, what is included in a boat tune-up? Learn more below.
Boat Engine Maintenance and Repair
The first step in making sure your boat is ready to hit the water is to take a closer look at the engine. Even if you think nothing is wrong with it, you need to prioritize this because you want to catch issues with your engine before you launch your vessel.
Typical Engine Repair and Maintenance Includes:
- Your inboard or outboard motor will be inspected to make sure it is operating efficiently.
- Your engine will receive an oil change, which will reduce friction in its internal components to reduce wear and tear on your engine.
- Your batteries will be tested to make sure they hold a charge.
- Your hoses will be checked to make sure there are no cracks, tears, or leaks.
All of this is essential because it makes sure that your engine is operating safely and efficiently. If you want your engine to run as long as possible, you need to get it maintained throughout the year. Then, if any issues are identified, they can be repaired before they become major safety concerns.
Prop Inspection and Repair
The next step is to inspect your propellers. In order for your boat to operate smoothly and efficiently, your propellers have to be in good working order. There are a few specific things a trained marine mechanic will look for when they perform a propeller inspection. They include:
- The propeller blades will be inspected closely for any signs of damage. This includes dents, dings, and missing chunks that might otherwise not be visible on a cursory inspection.
- The shafts will be tested to make sure they are not bent or vibrating.
- The hubs will be inspected closely to ensure they protect the rest of the propeller from objects.
- Seals will be tested to make sure they have not been damaged by objects, such as fishing lines.
- All components, such as the keyway or cotter pin, will be inspected to make sure they are not stuck or worn out.
If any problems are discovered with the propeller, they will be noted in the inspection report with the boat owner. If you get your propeller inspected every year, you can increase its longevity, preventing expensive repairs in the future.
Inspect Lower Unit
The lower unit should be inspected closely as a part of every boat tune-up process. The lower unit is often ignored during routine use because it is not in plain view; however, if you do not inspect the lower unit, there are problems that might go unnoticed for an extended amount of time. Then, they might become major issues when you take your boat out on the water.
A damaged or unserviced lower unit can make it hard to shift your boat because there could be water in the gear lube or metallic particles on the drain screw magnet. This is why a lower unit inspection should always be included in a Spring-time marine tune-up. If issues can be identified before you go out on the water it can save you considerable time and costly repairs.
Change Impeller System Water
Your impeller system plays an important role in keeping your boat working effectively. Routinely, you need to get your impeller system inspected as it is an integral component of your engine’s cooling system. If an impeller fails, the pump can’t circulate cool water to the engine causing your engine to overheat. If you catch that your impeller is failing early on, you might avoid major problems.
Impellers should be changed every 2-3 yrs. The rubber material does become brittle, deformed, or the blades completely break off due to age, temperatures, etc.
If your temperature gauge during normal operation of your boat begins to overheat or rise above normal temperatures, this is one of the main reasons. The water has stopped being pumped into your engine, causing it to overheat.
Hull Leak Inspection
Any boat inspection is going to take a close look at your hull for any signs of leaks. Some small leaks in your hull might not be noticed without a professional inspection. If you struck an object last year, it might not have caused any issues at the time; however, after your boat sits through a lot of temperature changes during the Ontario winter, these small nicks and dings could have gotten larger. Temperature changes can cause your hull to expand and contract slightly, exacerbating dings and nicks in your hull.
You do not want to take your boat out on the water with a damaged hull because this could threaten the integrity of your boat. To protect your hull, ensure you hire professionals who examine every square inch of your hull meticulously, including the underside. With a thorough hull inspection, you know that your watercraft is structurally sound.
Visual Inspection of Watercraft
During a visual inspection of your watercraft, professionals should examine your boat from top to bottom. This includes:
- Inspecting the transom, which is where the outboard engine is mounted
- Looking for any signs of waterlogged materials, which in common in older boats made of wood
- Examining the boat for any signs of warping or rotting
- Checking the bilge area for any signs of oil leaking from the engine, which would need to be repaired
- Examining the fuel tank for any signs of corrosion, which could harm the boat’s fuel efficiency
- Ensuring the stringers are connected securely to the hull
- Checking the rigging if there are any sails present
- Looking for any signs of bubbles in the fiberglass, which could threaten the integrity of the boat
- Checking for any scrapes or gouges on the bottom of the keel or hull, which could get worse over time
The visual inspection of your boat will be tailored to the make and model of your watercraft. This inspection is critical for making sure all issues are identified before you take your boat out on the water.
Contact Clark’s Marina for a Spring Tune-Up for your Boat!
If you are looking for professional marine services that can provide you with a Spring tune-up, then look no further than Clark’s Marina. For three generations we have dedicated ourselves to ensure all of our customers have the best, safest time possible on the water. We are currently offering a special on our Spring tune-up for boats, which includes:
- A thorough inspection of your boat engine
- A complete inspection of your propeller
- A comprehensive inspection of your lower unit
- A change of the impeller for your water pump system
- A complete inspection of your hull for any signs of leaks
If you plan on boating in the 1000 Islands area and are interested in a tune-up, Contact Us and let our Marine Mechanics make sure your boat is prepared for another season.