Maintenance Tips for Luxury Boats by Sheryl Wright

Photo by Tony Schnagl from Pexels


Being out on your boat is one of the very best ways to maintain social distance. To make sure that your investment lasts for many seasons on the water, you will need to maintain it prior to getting on the water and before you store your vessel. So whether you have your own boat, or are still looking for a specific type like narrow boats for sale, read on to find out more.

Before You Sail

Like a car, your boat engine will be much easier and less costly to maintain than it will be to repair. Because a failed engine can leave you stranded, you will need to be sure to review the following checklist before you sail:

  • check fluid levels, including oil, power steering, and coolant
  • take a look at your battery and look for corrosion
  • review the engine for signs of leaking, worn hoses, and rust

Invest in a digital multimeter that you can use to check power lines before and after each trip onto the water. Electrical shorts can cause fires and those fires may be slow to start and hard to put out once they take hold.

It’s a good idea to check the hull for any signs of mildew, wear, or damage. If you are in a habit of rinsing the boat after each sail, it should be easy to spot any signs of change from sail to sail. Review the interior of the boat for any signs of mildew on vinyl or sun damage on the cushions.

Finally, make sure you check the bilge pump to make sure it is working effectively; a clogged pump may not be evident until you start taking on water.

Back On Shore

When you get back onshore, you will need to wash the boat. Start with a basic rinse once the boat is back on the trailer or in the dry dock. If you have been sailing in saltwater, make sure that flushing the engine is one of the first steps.

If your boat is fiberglass, carefully review the sheen on the fiberglass as it dries after the rinsing. The gel coating on a fiberglass boat will oxidize and turn the gloss to a chalky finish, which means it is not protecting the fiberglass as effectively as it could. The topcoat on a painted wooden vessel will also get foggy and turn opaque as it ages. In either case, it will need to be replenished.

Should you note that the gel coat is failing, be ready to use a cutting product to remove the oxidative layer of the topcoat before reapplying with a good coat of gel coat wax. If the boat is large, consider hiring a crew as the process will take time.

Updating the gloss coat on a wooden boat may take

  • chemical stripping or
  • sanding

prior to reapplication. If the topcoat was tinted or was marine paint, you may also need to choose a new color or get the boat completely repainted in the original color. Consult the manufacturer to make the best choice, or get the surface tested to determine what the finish is before you start stripping the topcoat.

Inside the boat, the key is to prevent any air blockage to cushions. Even small pieces of dust on fabrics can lead to moisture build-up, which can cause mildew to form over time. Additionally, you will want to wipe down all vinyl surfaces with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust before treating them with a UV coating. As water exposure can be hard on the exterior of your boat, the sun can be really tough on vinyl and fabrics. Sun-damaged fabric cushions will need to be recovered or replaced.

Items To Store

Do your best to store the necessary cleaning products inside and out. Get your boat back to shore in time to allow for enough light to visually inspect the boat as you rinse it; repairs and upgrades can be done between this sail and the next time you are ready to go out.

Finally, lay in a supply of manufacturer recommended products for engine maintenance. A good supply of the Yamalube line of products can be kept in your dry dock to make it easy to keep your boat ready to get on the water.

Taking care of maintenance before it becomes a repair is the best investment you can make in any form of transport. Celebrate your time away from work and worry with a boat that you have carefully checked out before sailing.

Before You Sail

Your boat will also need miscellaneous items for smooth sailing. Check out this vitrifrigo which will provide enough storage for your luxury boat ride.