Maintenance Primer – Taking Care of Your Boat

Your boat requires a lot of attention so create a plan and stick to it – your boat will thank you.

LONG BEACH—The Log’s Parimal M. Rohit and OC Weekly Sales Director Kevin Davis met on Kevin’s boat, Indy Sent Lady, to chat about boat maintenance. Maintaining your boat requires a lot of work and attention but it needs to be done. Kevin shares a few tidbits and stories with Parimal in The Log’s latest edition of Nautical Banter.

Parimal M. Rohit: Okay we’re back out here on the boat, Indy Sent Lady, with Kevin Davis and we’re talking boat maintenance. What would you say is the biggest surprise you’ve had in maintaining your boat?

Kevin Davis: There’s always something. There’s always something to clean, always something to deal with, because your boat is out in the elements. If you learn to do it yourself, it’s better, however I don’t recommend it the first time. You’ll make a mistake and mess something up and that’s even more costly.

Just keeping your boat clean is a big deal – keeping it scrubbed, keeping it polished, keep your gel coat. It’ll make an old boat look new.

When we first got [Indy Sent Lady] she was in pretty poor shape. She really hadn’t been taken care of for almost two years. One of the first things we did was we cleaned the hell out of the inside. We had her taken out for the inspection. While she was out we had the bottom hull repainted. There are a number of different places to go, I’d suggest people make sure that they do the research of where they are going, make sure it’s a reputable company.

Ask lots of questions, as far as maintaining a boat.

PMR: How often do you haul out your boat?

KD: We have our boat hauled out about every three years and have the bottom painted, have the bottom inspected, make sure there are no holes or things like that, that you may or may not be aware of, check your rudder out, it’s always good if you can afford to get your boat hauled out. It’ll save you a lot of money in the long haul.

You also need to make sure you take care of your boat all the time, not just once every three years. We have a service, actually, who comes and scrubs our hull, changes our zinc on our prop, and they come out once a month. [They] also give us a report on the bottom.

PMR: What would you say is the average time commitment to maintaining your boat? Is it monthly? How many hours per month?

KD: We’re on a routine. Once a week, go through and clean the cabin. Having pets on the boat, too, especially with hair and dandruff – and you’re in a closed space anyway – you always want to make sure you keep your cabin clean and nice. Just like any house, you want to keep it nice and tidy.

The outside of the boat – I scrub ours about once a month, and I mean a good scrubbing. It depends upon the time of the year, too, right? I like to always do it in the mornings, especially after a damp morning, when it still has dew on it. Just hosing your boat off and keeping all the dust off of it, a lot of crap that just piles up, always a good thing to do.

We have our engine looked at once a year. It’s just like maintenance on a car. You always want to make sure your fluids are good, make sure your belts are good, especially before you head out.

PMR: What are some no-no’s or mistakes you would advice others to avoid, if at all possible?

KD: Because you are in a natural environment, people have a tendency to use chemicals that are probably not the best thing for the environment. There are a lot of good, green stuff that’s out there and you can get it from places like West Marine. I use a lot of Simple Green, as well. I try not to use as many bleaches and things along those lines.

When you come in from a sail, hose your boat down. Get the saltwater off of it, even on the sides of the hull. Saltwater does damage.

PMR: Without incriminating anyone, have you noticed anyone violating certain rules or laws?

KD: We’ve seen people drain their oils or their fluids and then take them up to the green area in front of the marina here and dump it. That’s a huge no-no. The fluids that are in these engines, they’re bad for the environment, so you gotta make sure you are disposing of them properly.

PMR: Okay, so let’s say someone observes something like that happening, what should they do?

KD: Call the marina. Let the marina know. It’s just one of those things – you want to do the right thing.


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