Properly maintaining a speed boat is as essential to smooth running as giving it fuel. Speed boat maintenance reduces the chance of breakdown, which will result in lower repair costs. It also will reduce the chance of being stranded by an inconvenient breakdown. Most important, keeping the recommended maintenance schedule maintains the longevity of the speed boat, helping owners get more years and more value from their investment.
Most speed boats come with a manual that explains in detail what maintenance that particular boat requires. While every boat is different, there are a few common maintenance tasks that can extend the life of every speed boat.
Like their human owners, speed boats require an annual checkup. During this “check up”, the oil, lower end fluid, and drive oil should be changed, as well as all filters. If the boat spends a lot of time in saltwater, change the zincs every year and have the boat bottom painted. This will not only keep the speed boat looking pristine, but also clean the fiberglass and remove barnacles and debris.
Winterizing the Speed Boat Engine
A good time to perform annual speed boat maintenance tasks is while the boat is being winterized. Winterizing a speed boat is essential if it will exposed to cold and/or damp weather. First, the engine should be flushed with water. Once the engine is drained, it can be washed with soapy water, and then rinsed. Drain all fuel from the carburetor and hoses so evaporated fuel does not build up.
Once the engine is clean and dry, lubricate the cylinder walls and pistons and apply water resistant grease to all other moving parts. Polish the outside of the engine with a high quality wax.
Other Winter Maintenance
The speed boat engine is not the only part requiring winter maintenance. The fuel filter and water separator should be replaced annually to prevent clogs. Before winter, make sure the fuel tank is full and add a fuel stabilizer. This will prevent condensation build up and deposits. Bilges can be clean with hot water and a stiff brush, then thoroughly dried before being sprayed with lubricant and antifreeze. It is also a good idea to thoroughly clean the boat both inside and out to prevent buildup.
It is essential that owners consult their speed boat manual or an experienced marine mechanic before attempting to complete any of these tasks themselves. Once they feel that they are capable of performing their own speed boat maintenance, most or all of the supplies can be found at a marine supply store or from online sources. Spending a few hundred dollars every year in speed boat maintenance can save thousands a year in repairs. It also ensures that owners get the most use out of their boat.
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