Generally, any marine transport maintenance involves constantly keeping it clean and lubricating. To help you keep your boat or yacht in proper shape, here are a few engineering tips to keep in mind:
Watch Lewis Wilde – Apprentice Engineer
- What To Look For Before Taking Any Boat In The Water
The competent boater has everything available and in order before setting out for the water. It is necessary to have a boat checklist and refer to it prior to going in the water. Things your boat checklist should include:
- Personal floatation devices for all onboard. It is mandatory. They must also be in good condition and have appropriate sizes for the users.
- Marine fire extinguisher
- A type of a throwable device for boats above 16 feet.
- Visual distress signals
- Navigation lights are mandatory if it is night-time boating.
- Sound producing devices
- Check your first aid kit
These necessities should ordinarily be kept on a boat and checked on regularly.
Other things to do before leaving with a boat are:
- Ensure the motor is tilted up and supported by motor support securely.
- Tie-down straps to be secure
- Loose items to be secured
- To remove the bow safety chain
- Maintenance Tips For Boats
It is not necessary to have a mechanic to maintain your boat and its motor. The most basic measures are simply keeping the ship clean and appropriately lubricated. An essential maintenance chore is washing and waxing your boat. Dirt lying around allows molds to attach and eventually grow. Take preventive measures to keep your engine running while preserving the value of your boat. Check your manufacturer’s recommendation before you perform engine maintenance. After every trip out on the water, flush the motor to remove dirt or sand. Have annual boat care and maintenance chores for changing engine oil and lubricating fittings. You can either do it or leave it to the professionals.
- Engine Tips And Different Kinds Of Checks
Maintenance is key to a better engine with a longer engine life span. Follow these recommended checks to keep your engine running smoothly:
Engine oil should always be clean and gold in color. If the oil is black, it indicates that it is dirty and needs changing. If the oil is milky, then it has been contaminated by water, take the engine for servicing.
You should run the engine at the dock to ensure it has a proper cooling system before you depart. Check the water hoses for brittleness or age when the engine is excellent.
- Drives and props
Confirm the propeller is straight by standing directly behind and rotating the propeller. Watch for a rotation that seems out-of-true. Take bent props to be mended. Check there is no finishing line snarled around the shaft as it causes seal leakage.
When pressing between the pulleys, the belts should spring back.
- RIB Boats And Their Engines
Clean Your RIB Boat often, primarily if you use it in saltwater. To avoid lasting water spots, wipe down surfaces with water spots form. Also, clean regularly to reduce mineral deposits grease.
Taking care of your engines
Do not store your RIB boat engines with fuel in the system for an extended period. The separation of gas and oil in the machines will lead to more serious issues as time goes by. Thus, drain your fuel using a freshwater source and disconnect the fuel line while the engine is still running.
Always flush your engine’s cooling system before storage. We are all aware that saltwater can cause metal parts corrode. It is wise to give your machine a thorough freshwater flush to ensure that there’s no saltwater left in the system, which can cause corrosion. Run the engine at idle speed in neutral, providing freshwater that is required to cool the engine.
- What to Check After You Return
It is very important to maintain a procedure to be done before docking. If the wind is blowing towards the dock, the boat should be brought to a parallel position to the dock and around two feet off. The boat can be secure by bow or stern.
However, if the wind is blowing away from the dock, approach the dock at 30-degree angle. Then pass a bow line ashore and secured.
For boats with in-build engine, the procedure is different. The rudder is used to bring the stern in. Push the stern in using the rudder and attach an after-bow spring to let the boat keep moving forward. The boat cannot move forward but the rudder will push the stern in. The boat will then pin itself against the dock as you secure the rest of the lines.
As a general rule of thumb, even if you do not wish to lift a finger beyond washing your boat and flushing the engine, annual boat maintenance is very vital. Before you take your boat put to the water this year, ensure it is ready for boating season.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Volvo Penta