Boat maintenance - the ultimate checklist

6 minute reading time
Bootonderhoud - de ultieme checklist
All parts of your boat require regular maintenance. This checklist summarizes everything.

Read on and make use of this handy list. That way you will never be surprised.

Boat maintenance (technique)

With this heading I mean, among other things, the batteries. Below you will first read which parts require monthly maintenance and then I will mention some parts that you should take care of once a year.

Every month:

  • Check the batteries and top up all wet batteries with distilled water.
  • You should check the hydraulics of the steering gear.
  • Cleaning the gas well.
  • Wash the boat cover with lukewarm water and a soft brush.
  • Check whether the canvas of the boat cover is still well impregnated. †How often should I impregnate my boat cover?)

Bootkap impregneren

Every year:

  • Lubricate the toilet pump.
  • Prepare the toilet for the winter.
  • Cleaning the paddle wheel log.
  • Check the gas installation for possible leakage.
  • Check carefully whether there is any rust at the battery terminals.
  • Empty and thoroughly clean the drinking water tank or tanks.
  • Flush the drinking water pipes.
  • When it comes to the steering, you should check the quadrant as well as the chains. If there is slack, you should do this a little more often than once a year.
  • Testing the thermal protection of the stove.

Every three years:

  • If you use rubber hoses on your boat, it is best to replace the gas hoses every three years.

Boat maintenance on the engine

Proper maintenance is very important for your own safety and for a longer lifespan of your boat. A number of things deserve attention during every boat trip. There are also things you need to check regularly, monthly or annually.

During each trip:

  • Check the level of the lubricating oil.
  • Check all hoses for any leaks.
  • Check the propeller shaft seal.

If you sail regularly, check the following every few weeks:

  • Check the water tank of the fuel tank.
  • Check the weed filter.
  • The seaweed filter should actually be cleaned as often as necessary.
  • Check the oil level of the gearbox.
  • Check the vibration dampers and clean them, if necessary.
  • Drain water from the coarse filter or water separator.
  • When it comes to the water separator or coarse filter, you should clean or replace the filter as often as necessary.

Maintenance boat and the underwater ship

The underwater hull of your boat does not require a lot of maintenance, but it is important to check the following parts every year:

  • Check the standpipes.
  • Clean the skin penetrations.
  • Check the skin penetrations for possible corrosion.
  • Check de anodes.
  • The anodes need to be replaced from time to time. This is not necessary every year. How do you know when it's time for a replacement? When 60% of the original mass is gone.
  • Check the valves for corrosion.
  • Grease the valves.
  • Check the keel attachment.
  • Look at the boat from all sides and check for rust. Immediately check for loose paint. Be sure to update this immediately.
  • A job that has to be done in the spring: applying antifouling.
  • Cleaning and checking bow and stern thrusters.
  • Check the comp and see if there is pitting corrosion or osmosis.
  • Checking the propeller shaft play.
  • Check that there is no damage to the screw.
  • Check any play in the rudder.

Boat maintenance of the deck and hull

You certainly do not need to check the deck and hull weekly or monthly. You certainly take a moment every year when you carry out extensive maintenance on the boat. Please also take the following points with you:

  • Grease the rubbers of the roof hatches.
  • Clean the teak deck.
  • Check the paintwork. If a new layer is needed, update it during boat maintenance.
  • Check the fittings, shutters and windows.
  • Put everything in the wash.
  • If you see brownish-yellow deposits anywhere or in several places, remove it thoroughly.
  • Clean the paint or gelcoat.
  • If you have clear coat anywhere on your boat, check it and touch it up if necessary.
  • Check the railing.
  • Spray the hull clean.
  • Inspect the teak deck seams.

Maintenance of your boat's equipment

What do you do without the necessary equipment? These items are indispensable for safety and extra comfort, among other things. How often is this check needed? Some things really should always be up to date and you should check these more often. Be sure to check monthly:

  • Checking the bilge pumps.
  • Check fire extinguishers for pressure.
  • Check the automatic life jacket.

What do you look at every year during the major maintenance of your boat?

  • Checking all documents. Did something happen by chance? Is everything still complete?
  • Clean the anchor bank. At the same time, check whether rust has formed.
  • Will the flashlights last another year? Are they still doing it? Do the batteries need to be replaced or do you need a new flashlight?
  • Check the anchor.
  • Lubricate and clean the windlass.
  • Clean the mooring lines and check for any defects.
  • Take the on-board toolbox and check whether it is still complete.
  • Clean your sailing knife and grease it again.
  • Make an appointment to service the outboard motor.
  • It is probably necessary every year to update the almanacs and maps.
  • Replenish the stock of bolts and screws so that it is complete again.
  • Have the automatic lifejacket inspected. Depending on the manufacturer, you should have this done every year or every other year.
  • Is the first aid kit still complete? Otherwise, fill this in.
  • Clean the fenders.
  • Check the date of the emergency fireworks. If the best-before date has expired, purchase new emergency fireworks.
  • Inflate the dinghy completely once and check that there are no leaks anywhere.

What do you do every three years?

  1. Have your life raft inspected.

Maintenance of your sailing yacht

When you are the proud owner of a sailing yacht, there are specific things to keep in mind when maintaining your boat.

What do you do about once a month?

  • Check the sails for wear.
  • Take a look at the staging.
  • Check the cotter pins and fasteners.

What is important during the annual maintenance of your sailing yacht?

  • Check the spreaders for damage.
  • Check the confirmation fitting.
  • Clean the fall arresters thoroughly.
  • Clean the discs and pads.
  • Check the eyes, terminals and tensioners.
  • Clean and lubricate the winches.
  • Clean and lubricate the roller reefing installation.
  • Check the running rigging. Do not fail to replace it when necessary.
  • Thoroughly clean the mast track on the inside.
  • Check the mast for any damage.

The list may seem long, but if you've been sailing for longer, you know how important good maintenance is. Of course you will be done with many of the above points in no time. If you really do this every year, you will only come across something now and then. I would therefore really advise you to keep up with maintenance. Then you can be sure that you can continue to sail with pleasure, your boat will last longer and maintenance does not have to take too much time. Every once in a while, just plan a Saturday, a day off or a holiday and go together or just check everything on the boat for a day. If you need special cleaning agents, only use good quality products. Also try to draw up a work plan. You can of course use the handy checklist.

In conclusion, a few general tips:

General tips for maintaining your boat

  • If necessary, get started together. This is cozier and you finish earlier.
  • Share your experiences with others. Other boat owners may have tips for you that will help you finish maintenance on your boat sooner.
  • Sometimes two half days working on the boat can be more effective than a long day. Take a look at your personal preference.
  • If you already know in advance that you will need materials, buy them in advance. It is a pity of your time when you have to go to the store in the meantime.
  • Do not fall behind on the maintenance of the boat, but keep everything up to date.