Top Five DIY Maintenance Items for Boat Owners

DIY. Do It Yourself. You might say, “yeah right, I am not a mechanic and have no experience with mechanical or electrical so why should I try?”

WOW! There are a lot of reasons to learn about your boat and its systems. Some key areas that will effect almost every boat owner can be easily mastered. Here are my top 5 maintenance skills you can and should DIY to save money and time:

  1. Change dirty fuel filters.
  2. Clear fouled sea strainers.
  3. Inspect and replace raw water rubber impellers.
  4. Burp your air conditioning raw water pump.
  5. Check hydraulic steering fluid and pressure.

Scroll down for more photos and videos of items to become familiar with.

You should discover the manufacturers recommended and predicted maintenance cycles. Then prepare yourself how to do the easier tasks that occur more frequently. Sometimes it is as simple as reading the manual. Other skills require a class or hands-on tutoring lesson. With a little effort and education you can often master the more expensive service items too.

One of the most common DIY service items we believe you should learn to do yourself is the oil change. I can detail the time and labor for this but I ask you to telephone a service company to ask their rates and expected timeline to change the oil and oil filters on your boat. Just for fun add in changing fuel filters and raw water impeller too. If you do not own a boat yet, tell them about the boat you plan to buy, twin engines or single and don’t forget the generator.

Now take that number they estimated and compare it to the minimum cost for supplies that you would have if you were to do the the work yourself. Just think how much money you would save and can use for diesel fuel, marina fees or a nice dinner, actually a few nice dinners.

During our teenage years we had to learn how to change a spare tire and jump start the car before our parents would allow us the pleasure of borrowing their car. No AAA back then. Yes, you can argue we now have TowBoatUS and SeaTow but they only tow you to safety. They do not make repairs.

Join us to understand how to take care of the top 5 on our list and quite a few in the top 100 too! Our seminar  Introduction to Boat Systems will help you understand how to manage your boat. Learn more here.