Owning a boat is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also comes with significant expenses. Proper boat maintenance can keep your vessel in good shape for longer, and reduce costly repairs. Whether you’re looking to hire a yacht service or simply want to learn how to maintain your own boat, there are many things you should know.

Boats are often more complicated than cars and require a higher level of skill to maintain. In addition, some of the most important boat services are only available at a specialty shop that’s staffed by certified mechanics. This is particularly true for specialized boats that feature advanced electronic equipment, technical apparatus, or larger inboard engines.

Performing regular boat maintenance will prevent costly repairs in the future, and it will also help to extend the life of your engine and other components. It’s important to create a routine and stick to it, but you should also make sure to have some basic spares on hand in case of an emergency. The best way to prevent boat emergencies is to maintain a checklist and check the most critical areas of your vessel before and after each use.

Battery: The battery is the heart of your boat, without it your engine won’t start and electrical components won’t work. Check your battery regularly, at least once per year, and more frequently during the boating season. Inspect it for cracks, leaking and loose terminals, and replace it if necessary.

Fuel: Regularly clean and inspect your fuel system, including the filter, to ensure that it’s working properly. It’s also a good idea to have some basic spare parts on hand in case of an emergency, such as a new spark plug or a replacement fuel pump.

Hull: Make sure to scrub and wax your hull periodically, usually once per season. This will keep it shiny and looking its best, and also protect it from the damaging effects of sunshine and salt water.

Marine Growth: In addition to being unsightly, marine growth can cause serious damage to your engine and other boat components. Keep an eye out for marine growth on deck and in the bilges, and remove it as soon as you notice it.

Woodwork: Although it’s less common in modern boats, many older vessels have wooden handrails and other features. These are often made from teak, a durable tropical hardwood. It’s a good idea to clean these occasionally with a mild cleaning solution designed specifically for teak.

Accidents: While accidents rarely happen on the water, they can occur off shore or at a marina. It’s a good idea to carry insurance that will cover the cost of a repair or replacement if needed.

If you’re interested in a day out on the water but don’t have your own boat, New York Water Taxi offers a “hop on hop off” service that lets you sightsee around NYC from a comfortable, easy-to-use boat! Check out their schedule and book a tour online here.

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