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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Maintaining Your Boat in the Summer

sun at dusk, lake, North Carolina
Many boaters are very careful to prepare their boats for winter storage. However, similar areas of concentration should not be ignored during the summer months. Summer boating is great fun, whether its a lazy day on the pontoon boats or a fishing competition. Here is a look at some ways boaters can maintain their boats while they are in the water.

Check Oil
Keep an eye on the oil and don’t ignore it just because you may have recently had it changed. Low oil levels could be a sign that there is a leak. Prior to the summer, the oil, filter and gear lube should all be changed. This is an easy job for your local boating service department. Unlike a car, there is no oil light that comes on to signify that there is a problem.

Light Up
Even if you use your boat primarily in the day, it is a good idea to check the lights. In the event that the lights do not work, you can attempt to clean the socket with sandpaper. And before going out and buying a whole new fixture, you could attempt to replace the sockets, which is a much cheaper fix.

Bottom Inspection
When you are anchored and the engine is turned off, take a dip in the water and inspect the bottom of the boat. Most times, the transom and hull is in need of a scrubbing. Remember that removing any growth from underneath your boat should not remove any of the paint. Be mindful of how forceful you are when cleaning the boat bottom.


Empower Your Steering
Summer heat can take its toll on your boat’s steering. With several different types of steering systems common on boats, it is important to understand how your steering operates. Mechanical rack or rotary systems are prevalent on outboard boats.  Keeping the steering tube on these systems properly lubricated is a must to prevent jamming especially.  Hydraulic steering systems require topping off the hydraulic fluid periodically and checking for leaks.  Over time, the seals in hydraulic systems may develop leaks and must be replaced.  Most stern drive boats will have power steering pumps similar to cars. Check the fluids in these systems periodically and top them off as needed.

Keep a Clean Hull
Keeping a clean hull is key to maintaining a properly functioning boat. A failure to maintain the hull of your boat could lead to burning an excess amount of fuel and poor performance. In our local lakes, algae will accumulate on hulls and pontoons rapidly. Algae adds weight, causes drag and is unsightly. Scrubbing the hull with a soft bristle brush or sponge is an efficient way to remove algae and avoid any summertime problems.
The Carolina's one-stop shop for all your boat sales and boating services is at New Hope Marine. With a wide selection and expert technicians available, New Hope Marine is the only boating choice in the Charlotte, NC area.