Spring is coming! And just like a grizzly beard, your boat needs a bit of oil and some good ol’ TLC, especially after the harsh Canadian winter we just had. Now you’d never hack away at your beard with a hedge trimmer, so don’t just spray the boat with the garden hose and load it in the lake. Let the DIY Boat Maintenance begin! Prepare your arsenal of tools, cleaning supplies, and general DIY skills and let’s get that hull smoother than a glassy morning lake.
There’s a few sections we’re going to tackle, so think ahead and plan strategically for when you decide to start your boat maintenance project. If there’s something you know you can’t DIY, and you can’t find at your local Canadian Tire, save it for the professionals at a Boat Repair & Maintenance shop.
HOW TO SERVICE YOUR BOAT AT HOME
On to the good stuff – let’s start at the heart! Your boat motor is a beast, albeit a confusing one. To keep it simple, here’s some things you can do to get that motor purring before you hit the lake this summer:
Locate all parts in your Boat Owner’s Manual before you start your DIY project!
INBOARDS – Change the engine oil and filter- this will save you from corrosion, wasted fuel, and potential engine failure.
– Check the bilge blower for any leaks.
– Inspect fuel tanks and fuel pumps for leaks.
– Wire brush the battery terminals.
OUTBOARDS – Replace the spark plugs (and bring extras on board for the season).
– Check the fuses for corrosion.
– Lubricate the moving parts.
– Check the fuel line and tank for any leaks.
It’s a smart idea to record the boat maintenance you do in a logbook. Use a checklist so you can keep track of any repairs you made, any notes you want to leave for yourself at season’s end, and so you’ll remember to maintenance your boat on a regular, seasonal schedule!
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR BOAT AT HOME
Not to be ‘shallow’ but you should probably make sure your boat also looks like a ‘10’ this summer. To clean your boat properly at home and get it sparkling before launch:
Try and pick this boat up at the ‘sand bar’!
STEP 1: Give it a double coat of wax to ensure maximum sun protection during the summer months. Think of it as your boat’s sunblock! Good options are Collinite Marine Wax or TREWAX Boat Paste Wax. Be sure to use a soft bristled brush at the end to really make those chrome parts shine!
STEP 2: Scan the hull for blisters, chips, cracks, and/or chalky debris – make any small repairs, if needed.
STEP 3: Clean out the interior of the boat – vacuum up any sand, residue, and dust from every nook and cranny.
STEP 4: Test and wipe down the electronics – fishfinders, weather radars, GPS, compass, etc.
STEP 5:Analyze all wiring for loose cables, damage, and general wear.
STEP 6: Inspect the canvas/vinyl for holes, tears, and general cleanliness. If you suspect your canvas is going moldy, gently vacuum the entire surface and apply a marine industry approved biocide spray.
Would you look at that shine?
You’ll know you’ve done a great job when you want to embark on a cross Canada boating trip just to show off how your boat shines and purrs as it cruises along those beautiful shorelines to the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of your fellow Canadian boaters. But before you leave, do a final triple-check to ensure you have all the required boating safety gear and equipment you will need on the boat, and that they’re in good working order. This could include:
Congratulations! You’ve successfully DIY’d your spring boat maintenance, and saved a few bucks doing so. Last but not least, make sure your registration is current and on board. Lost your boating license? No worries, pick up a 3-pack of replacement cards and leave one on the boat, one at the cottage, and the other in your wallet so it doesn’t happen again!
With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, time is ticking for those last-minute gifts. No need to jump off the deep end though because we’ve come up with some epic Mother’s Day ideas just for you (and your mom). The best part is, they’re all about the experience, since after all, you can’t put a price on memories.
Gift her a boating license
There’s a new wave of boaters ready to set sail – women! It’s time women took the captain’s seat and started making their own boating memories. By giving the gift of a boating license, mom can feel cool and comfortable on the water in any scenario. The BOATsmart! course is full of safety instructions and educational modules to help mom boat with confidence. Boating is a relaxing experience; a place to let the problems of the day trickle into the wake behind you. It’s a place for mom to share stories and make family memories with her crew. We all know mom’s already the intrepid captain, this license just makes it official on the water.
Take a coastal drive
Driving down the coast is a mesmerizing experience. The smell of fresh air, the flecks of sunlight that dance along the top of the water and the lingering anticipation of catching a glimpse of rare wildlife are all elements that make this outing an ideal trip with mom for Mother’s Day. Good conversation and junk food are key to this mini road-trip making it one she’ll never forget. Each road lends an opportunity to take in new scenery and create your own adventure, so be sure to charge your camera and make room on your phone to capture whatever may be in store. There are typically look-out points along any coastal route, so if you happen to spot one, take full advantage of that photo-opp. Stop off at a local seafood restaurant that will be serving up the fresh catch of the day and bask in the patio sun while enjoying a frothy beverage before heading back.
Try water Yoga
New yoga trends that involve water have been popping up recently. One of those popular trends is yoga on stand-up paddle boards. This new practice will get you feeling more connected to the outdoors and help make your movements more meticulous and calculated from fear of falling over and embarrassing yourself in front of the entire class. There are also places that offer aqua yoga where you perform your practice submerged in water. It’s easier on joints but much more challenging when it comes to balance and movement. You’ll leave feeling more calm and relaxed than ever. This new take on a traditional practice is a perfect way to create and share new experiences with your mom for Mother’s Day and who knows, you might even get hooked!
Go fishing together
Give mom the gift of bragging rights at the next family gathering by taking her fishing. Don’t have a boat? Get creative with it and find a cool rock or dock to fish off of; it’s all part of the experience. Fishing has been a long-standing tradition in many families, and although sometimes masked behind the technical jargon and the right to gloat from the triumphant catch-of-the-day, what it really comes down to is the quality time spent with loved ones. Whether it be at the end of a dock or on the water, making unforgettable memories with your mom and connecting to the outdoors is something you can’t put a price on.
Go on a canoe ride
Take in the serenity and magnificence of the outdoors while paddling your way into mom’s good books. A canoe ride is one of the most peaceful activities you can do on water; with the methodical stroke of the paddle and the connection you feel to the river, lake or sea. You don’t need to go too far to find a spot to launch your canoe for an afternoon paddle as many local resorts offer water sports and will allow you to use their facilities. You can rent a canoe and flow down a lazy river or day-trip-it on a winding creek. Up your game by finding a spot where the sun hits just right and enjoy a lunch by the shore. You might just become moms new favourite – you’re welcome.
With the busy lives we lead from day-to-day, it’s now more important than ever to get outdoors and connect with nature. The mental and physical benefits of being outdoors can create massive positive effects on your overall well-being. It helps you to disconnect from your hectic life and become refreshed and rejuvenated – it’s like our reset button! This Mother’s Day, you can help mom enjoy these natural stress-relievers and give her an unforgettable, unique gift that you can appreciate together.