Preventative Boat Maintenance Will Save You a Headache

The first thing that is generally thought of when "maintenance" is mentioned for a boat or automobile, engine work comes to mind. Engine maintenance is a clear cut, well known issue of most boat owners and those considering to become one. The less thought about, but equally important, maintenance to consider in keeping up the value of your boat is the cosmetic maintenance. Your boat could run perfectly, but if it has little dings and scratches throughout it, its value severely decreases. This fact is especially true to the owners of fiberglass boats, as the look of these boats should be pristine. Preventative maintenance will certainly save you a headache later on. One thing to remember is that those who will be passengers on your boat must wear deck shoes. This is not merely a facade that they will need to seem like they're getting the full experience, but the deck will scratch quite easily from street shoes, and is very difficult to polish out. Softer sole tennis shoes without any dirt on them would also work, as it's the dirt from the street shoes that get ground into the deck that causes the scratches. It might be advantageous to have a few extra pairs handy for those who might not own their own, yet still want to enjoy the boat. Regular maintenance on the exterior of your boat is something that is inevitable. At some point discoloration will occur from sun damage. This is easily remedied by using a good marine polish, and making sure that you get all of the polish off after you're done. Sun damage can be held to a minimum if you dock your boat in a shady area or some sort of covered storage. The occasional coating of a marine wax will also be helpful in preventing sun damage. Repairing scratches can either be simple or so severe that a professional fiberglass boat repair shop will have to be used. The easiest way to tell if a scratch is simple enough for you to be able to repair it yourself is if it's the same color as the boat. This will mean that it is a scratch in the gelcoat, which is the exterior finish put on fiberglass boats. In that case, a rubbing compound or a polish will need to be used to fill it in. Remember when rubbing not to use excessive force, as that can push further into the gelcoat and cause more damage than was originally there. Instead, use a slow, light motion when applying the polish to be sure that you don't go any deeper than necessary. If the scratch is white and has the texture of an orange or lemon peel, contact a professional repair shop immediately. On top of the regular maintenance of the engine and mechanical parts of your fiberglass boat, be sure to take preventative measures to also maintain the beauty of it. Just a little regular cosmetic maintenance will insure the resale value of your boat, and make your boating experience the best that it can be.


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