As the temperature rises, so does the urge to free the boat from winter storage and take it out on the water. Before you do, make sure you take care of some basic, routine maintenance that will help ensure your vessel is as ready for the waves as you are. After checking with your agent to ensure you have the right boat insurance in Westchester, head to the local marine shop to purchase the tools and supplies you need.
Start with a good wash, with cleaning products designed specifically for boats. It’s a great way to protect the finish on your boat, and it can actually reduce your fuel costs—considering that a dirty hull covered with algae, barnacles and the like can drain up to 30% of your fuel efficiency.
Change your oil
Four-stroke outboards, inboards and stern drive boats are much like cars in the sense that they need to have their oil changed regularly. Consult your mechanic or owner’s manual to find out the frequency specifically recommended by your boat manufacturer, but many experts say to count on performing an oil change at least once a year, or once for every 100 hours of engine operation.
If you’re at all mechanically inclined you can change the oil yourself. First, warm up the engine by letting it run for several minutes. Then turn off the engine, remove the oil drain plug to let the old oil run out; replace the oil filter and drain plug; pour in the required amount of new oil, making sure to use a good marine-grade quality product. This type of oil is made specifically for boat engines, which work much harder than automobile engines; auto oil is not intended for use in boat engines.
Check the propeller
While you’re at it, check the propeller on your outboard or stern drive boat for nicks, dents, fishing line that may have become wrapped around the shaft, and so on. Have any type of damage repaired before you hit the water, as even a small dent in the propeller can result in a 10% loss of engine performance, causing the engine to work harder and more fuel to be consumed. Finally, talk to your professional insurance agent, who can provide you with more information when it comes to boat insurance in Westchester.