Maybe you won’t be using your boat much this winter, or maybe you have a few key trips planned. Whatever the case, it’s important to run normal scheduled maintenance on your boat, and winter is actually a decent time to start tackling boat projects for a number of reasons. It’ll keep you busy and preoccupied if you have to wait for spring, and if your boat won’t be dealing with the wear and tear of regular trips, you can ensure that it will be fresh and ready to go for the spring season.
For those that don’t wait for spring, then it’s imperative that your boat stays in top condition all year round—and part of that includes maintaining California Boat Insurance coverage, even if you aren’t planning on taking your boat out on the water.
This is the second part of our ongoing series about winter boating. Last week, we discussed the benefits of continuing to take your boat out during the winter. If you are unable to do this or simply not enthused by winter boating, you can instead take this time to perform these maintenance tasks, as recommended by Boat Trader.
1. Rid yourself of old hoses and clamps.
Inspect each hose and hose clamp carefully, replacing what needs to be replaced. It’s important to be thorough—this is the best time to catch a problem. Any cracks, kinks or obvious signs of wear needs to be replaced.
2. Break down your boat’s to-do list.
This is the part where you break down what you know needs to be done on your boat, including: replacing gaskets in leaky hatches, replace leaky port gaskets, replace broken navigation lights, replace the defective gas-assist struts on your engine or access hatches, upgrade your old engine instrumentation and make sure your propane system is safe.
3. Get an upgrade for your bilge
Admit it, over time your bilge is going to smell. That’s why it’s so important to do a thorough scrubbing and rinse—and if more steps need to be taken, then so be it. You might find yourself in the midst of an entire makeover, stripping the bilge of any bilge pumps or pickups, wiring, hoses, etc. before sanding and prepping for the appropriate bilge paint. Next, find out if your bilge pump can stay or go.
4. Mess with the wiring until it’s perfect.
It’s time to get a handle on your electrical system. What looks like a mess, it’s time to tackle it. Unless a wire is damaged or broken, then it doesn’t have to be replaced or ripped out. It’s easy to trace wires and neaten them up with cable clamps or wire ties. Every 18 inches should be secure. Anything that looks corroded has to go. Remember, neatness really counts here.
5. Give new life to old pumps
Maybe your water washdown or pressure freshwater system just isn’t the bee’s knees anymore. Chances are, your pumps are due to be rebuilt. Getting a rebuild kit is simple. First thing to do is remove the offending pump and take it to the nearest local marine supply store. Then you can get the appropriate kit that you need. Then it’s time to rebuild and reinsert into your boat. Other pumps that can be up for rebuilding include macerator, bilge and air-conditioning pumps. On top of that, impellers need to be changed every couple years.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this installment on what you can do with your boat this winter. Make sure to come back next week for another important winter boating topic: how and where to properly store your boat.
About Mariners Insurance
Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.