Boat Handling & Seamanship
Enjoying Your Day, Comfortably
Performance & Efficiency
Ports of Call & Places to Anchor
The Importance of Scheduled Boat Maintenance
By Richard Lane, Atlantic Marine, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Having a solid maintenance schedule will help make your boat last longer and lessen the chance of problems over time. To perform optimally, your boat needs to be properly maintained, similar to your car. The service team at your Grady-White dealer is uniquely qualified to provide this maintenance. They are factory trained specifically for your boat and for the partner products Grady-White uses (like Yamaha engines). They also have parts designed for your boat, an important factor to consider as only genuine parts manufactured to fit your boat are backed by a warranty, giving you added peace of mind. Because we are continually performing maintenance tasks on Grady-White boats, we know exactly what to check and how often. By performing a thorough inspection of your boat and trailer, a trained technician can often identify potential problems and alert you to them before they occur - preventing them from happening when trailering or operating the boat.
When you take your boat to the dealer for maintenance, you'll want to discuss the following items with the service department:
- Learn what services need to be performed on the engine based on the hours that have accumulated on the boat since you purchased it, or since the last maintenance was performed.
- If your boat has a generator and other similar features, options, and systems, you should inquire about servicing those as well.
- Do you need to check the electrical system?
- If you keep your boat in the water versus on a lift or trailer, you should discuss bottom cleaning and/or bottom painting.
- You can also prevent corrosion, mild water spots, gel coat deterioration, color fading and cushion deteriorating by having your boat thoroughly detailed.
- How long will it take for the services to be performed?
Some of the basic things we do during a standard maintenance check include:
- Check the batteries for corrosion, age, and perform a load test.
- Check the fuel systems, add the proper additive, replace filters, and clean the fuel system to prevent moisture build up, contaminated fuel, and water in the fuel.
- Lubricate the engine and gearcase.
- Grease moving parts.
- Check the water pump and thermostats.
- Apply corrosion prevention zincs and spray the engine with a protectant to prevent corrosion and damage.
- If you deliver your boat to the dealer on your trailer, they will grease its bearings and perform an overall check of the lights, tire pressure, and wiring harness.
Here is a list of other items you'll want to be inspected periodically:
- Electrical systems
- Bilge pump
- Lights - including navigation and underwater lighting
- Thru hulls
- Electronics inspection and software updates
There are also a number of things you can do to protect your boat between service times. Here are some helpful tips:
- Flush your engines with fresh water after every use and wash the boat to remove salt water.
- Be sure the battery select switches are in the off position after each use. Keep your batteries fully charged by plugging into a battery charger.
- Use ethanol-free gas. Learn more here.
- Properly store your boat and canvas when not in use.
- Protect your gel coat and cushions by installing a cover, especially when the boat is being stored outside in the elements.
There are many benefits to having your dealer perform regular maintenance on your boat. The most obvious is preventing problems before they arise. One that may not be top of mind right now is how it affects the resale value. When you're ready to trade your current boat for a newer model, it will most likely have a higher trade-in value than a boat that has not had regular maintenance performed. Your dealer will keep that documentation for you. Give them a call, and let them help you enjoy trouble-free days on the water.
Click here for a quick reference maintenance guide.