Regular maintenance of your fishing boat will ensure it stays safe and hassle-free, and significantly improve its resale value. There are many things to keep in mind when caring for your fishing boat, and particular tasks might vary according to its type and material.
Here are a few tips on fishing boat maintenance to help you develop a regular routine:
After each fishing boat trip
- If you fish in salt waters, rinse your boat with fresh water after boating.
- Give the entire exterior of fishing boat a thorough wash, with a soft sponge and soap (choose a biodegradable, pH-balanced marine soap).
- Scrub the deck, hull, fittings and outboard motor.
- Dry your boat with a soft cloth.
- Clean the windows with a vinegar and water solution.
- If you have vinyl seats, apply a commercial treatment solution.
- Flush your engine.
- For electric engines, change the battery as soon as you return from a fishing trip.
Weekly/monthly fishing boat maintenance tasks
- Check for loose fittings, cracks, loose rivets, or anything else that needs attention on your boat, and make any necessary repairs immediately.
- Carefully clean chrome, aluminium or stainless steel fittings with a quality commercial quality cleaner. You may also want to apply a wax sealant to protect your fittings from corrosion.
- Check wooden fishing boats carefully for damage or rot, particularly in the corners, along the waterline, upper decks and the back of the boat.
- Check your engine for rust, corrosion and damage.
General fishing boat maintenance tasks (at the beginning and/or end of the boating season)
- Check your fishing and boating accessories, including ropes, lines, boat poles, anchors and rod holders. Replace or repair any damaged equipment.
- Check the condition of your PDFs (Personal Floatation Devices), and replace any that have been worn out by sun, saltwater or age.
- Check your boat lights (starboard, port and 360 degree white light).
- Change the oil and filter in your engine, and drain the cooling system and fuel tank.
Fishing boat maintenance: a handy tip
If you don’t want to wash your fishing boat yourself, you can run it through a high-pressure car wash. Remove all fishing tackle, electronics, seat cushions and other accessories first.