DIY Boat Maintenance: Is It Right For You?

You’re handy with a wrench and have been taking care of your cars and trucks for years and now just bought a boat.
As the initial excitement starts to wear off and you read more about boat ownership, you start to realize there is a lot of maintenance involved.
Does your experience maintaining cars translate over to a boat?
Should you spend the time learning how to do most of your boat’s maintenance yourself or should you leave it to a professional?
In this article we’ll outline several of the important factors to consider and offer some advice along the way.

The Cost of Professional Boat Maintenance

For most new boat owners, the cost of maintenance is a major surprise.
Marine mechanics often charge over $100 per hour, which adds up quickly. Compounding the problem is the cost of parts which can make a “routine” trip to the shop run well over a thousand dollars for the average boat owner.
High cost is the primary reason most boat owners consider maintaining their own boat.
By saving on expensive labor costs you can certainly keep your yearly operating costs lower.
Savings you can apply to using your boat more!

The Type of Boat You Own

The bigger the boat, the bigger the budget.
Larger boats are usually more complex and have more onboard systems.
If you bought a boat that most people might call a yacht, then doing the maintenance yourself is probably not for you.
However, for most boat owners with a boat with an outboard engine, routine maintenance is easily within their capabilities.
Other systems aboard the boat like electronics and pumps will require maintenance too but if you have experience working on cars then maintaining them should be relatively easy too.

How Handy Are you?

Choosing to do your own maintenance aboard often comes down to how comfortable you are maintaining and repairing equipment.
If you have a lot of experience maintaining your own cars or trucks then boat maintenance should be relatively easy.
If the prospect doing your own oil change is intimidating then it would be best to find a local boat repair shop to handle your boat’s maintenance for you.
However, if you’re ok with getting a little dirt and oil on your hands then by all means, take on your boat’s maintenance and you’ll learn a ton in the process.

DIY Boat Maintenance Tips

If maintaining your own boat sounds right for you then here are a few tips to make your life easy.
Learn to love Youtube.
For just about every boat engine out there, there is a Youtube video of someone showing you how to fix and maintain it.
Searching around online will yield tons of helpful info on your boat and engine as well as great deals on spare parts when you need to buy them.
A little time spent learning your boat will save you thousands down the road. Likewise, if you’re able to stay on top of your boat’s maintenance with preventative maintenance you can avoid major issues for years to come.

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