Labor Day Weekend: Here are 3 basic tips that sometimes are overlooked to keep your boat in good running shape.

Labor Day weekend boat tips1. Check your boat’s propeller. Remove your boats propeller to make sure discarded fishing line hasn’t become wrapped around the propeller shaft. When fishing line is wrapped around a prop shaft, it can cause gear case leaks. Also, while you have the propeller off, inspect it for nicks, dents and other signs of damage. Believe it or not, the smallest dent can cause your boat to lose performance and burn excessive fuel. A damaged prop also can vibrate, putting too much stress on bearings and seals causing additional damage. Finally, put a liberal amount of waterproof grease on the propeller shaft to prevent corrosion from “freezing” it in place.

oil change for boats2. Boats need to have their oil changed just like cars. Four-stroke outboards, inboards and stern drive boats require regular oil changes. The frequency will vary by model but a good rule of thumb is to change the oil every 100 hours of operation or once a year.

boat's gelcoat is better when washed

3. Sometimes washing a boat is done in a hurry or skipped till next time. If you boat in saltwater, remove salt residue with clean fresh water. Why? Salt will corrode metal, fasteners and other hardware, and if left too long on your gelcoat, it can create a hazy film on the surface. And don’t skimp on cheap soap. Marine boat wash is best and is specially formulated for gelcoat surfaces.

Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!

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