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In-Season Boat Maintenance

Enjoy more summer fun with these easy tips

Summer is here and you’re hopefully enjoying lots of quality time out on the water with family, friends or fish. If you’ve stayed on top of preseason and annual maintenance tasks, your boat should be ready to provide many months of trouble-free service, but there are still some things you can do during the season to ensure everything keeps running smoothly. Use these simple tips to help increase your fun time on the water this summer.

Check Oil and Fuel Filter

Just like in your car, you should check your boat’s engine oil level before every outing and top it up as needed in between scheduled 100-hour or annual oil changes. It’s also important to monitor your engine-mounted or remote fuel filter, as the more time you spend on the water, the odds of water or other impurities contaminating your fuel increase. Nothing spoils a sunny day faster than bad gas, so always keep a spare fuel filter on board and know how to change it out on the water. For 2-stroke engines, keep a supply of 2-stroke oil on board so you never get caught empty-handed.

Inspect Your Propeller

Without a good propeller, you’re not going anywhere or having any fun! Damage from striking bottom or hitting rocks or other debris can reduce its efficiency, or worse, leave you dead in the water. Inspect your propeller for damage after every outing and always carry a spare hub kit on board along with the tools to replace it. You might also consider carrying a spare prop in case of an emergency. Mercury offers a wide range of replacement propellers designed to provide outstanding performance for every type of boating activity. 

Check Anodes

Typically mounted to your engine’s gearcase and transom mount, sacrificial anodes made from aluminum, magnesium or zinc play a critical role in protecting your boat and engine from the detrimental effects of galvanic corrosion in all types of water. The more time your boat spends in the water, the harder the anodes work and more frequently they should be inspected. It’s a good habit to check your anodes every time you take your boat out of the water. For boats stored on the water, check them at least monthly during the season. Replacement is recommended when the anode has been about 50% consumed.

Keep Gauges and Screens Clean

Modern boats are often equipped with a dazzling array of electronic accessories that help you navigate, find fish and keep tabs on your boat’s engine and other systems. All this information is only as useful as your ability to actually see it. Exposure to the elements, including water spots, dirt and greasy sunscreen fingerprints, can easily make them hard to read. Use a product like Mercury Screen & Glass Cleaner to keep your screens crystal clear.

Maintain a Showroom Shine

Possibly the only downside to spending more time on the water is the need to clean your boat more often. That’s a good problem to have when you’re having fun! Mercury makes it easy to keep your boat in ship-shape condition with a variety of Mercury Precision Care products such as All-in-One Spotless Shine, Corrosion Guard Engine Protect and Paint & Finish products. Keep your boat and engine looking sharp and reap the rewards of pride in ownership, longer service life and higher resale value.

The last thing you probably want to think about when you’re enjoying your boat on a beautiful summer day is maintenance, but following these simple tips can help you get more time on the water this season, avoid costly repairs and downtime, and give you a head-start on post-season storage. That all adds up to time well spent.

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