Maintaining Your Vessel: A Guide to Boat Servicing

Why is Boat Maintenance so Important and when do you need to have your boat serviced?

Maintaining a boat is crucial to ensure it runs smoothly and safely on the water. One of the key components of boat maintenance is preventative servicing. Boats require regular servicing to ensure they function at their optimal level and reduce the risk of breakdowns or accidents.

How often a boat needs servicing depends on several factors, such as how frequently it is used, its age, and the type of engine it has. Boats should be serviced at least once a year, although some may require more frequent servicing. Regular cleaning and polishing, checking the propeller for damage, and replacing worn-out components such as the boat’s ropes or anchors are also important aspects of boat maintenance. By maintaining their boats regularly, boat owners can ensure their vessels are safe, reliable, and running at their optimal level.

What does annual boat servicing entail?

Annual servicing is important for all vessels, from small boats to superyachts, regardless of their size or usage. During an annual service, the boat’s engine will be thoroughly checked to ensure it is running efficiently. This will involve checking the oil and filters, spark plugs, and the fuel system. The boat’s battery will also be checked, and any necessary maintenance or replacement will be carried out.

Cleaning, polishing and inspecting the boat is an important aspect of maintenance, as it helps to prevent the build-up of algae, barnacles, and other debris on the hull. Over time, these can cause damage to the boat’s hull, and may also affect its speed and fuel efficiency. Regular cleaning and polishing can help to prevent this from happening and also help to maintain the boat’s appearance. At Gold Coast Marina and Shipyard, we offer an all-inclusive antifoul package from $85/foot to help with your annual slipping needs.

When would my vessel require more frequent servicing?

Boats that are used frequently or in harsh conditions may require more frequent servicing. In these cases, boat owners should consider servicing their boats every six months. This will help to keep the boat running smoothly and prevent any issues from developing.

Older boats may also require more frequent servicing to keep them in good working order. As boats age, their components can become worn and may need replacing. Servicing older boats regularly can help to identify and fix any issues before they become more serious. At GCCM if any issues are discovered with an older boat, the wide variety of trades that we have on hand can help to replace any and all worn components.

The type of engine a boat has will also affect how often it needs servicing. Two-stroke engines, for example, require more frequent servicing than four-stroke engines. This is because two-stroke engines use a mixture of oil and fuel, which can cause a build-up of carbon in the engine if not maintained regularly. Four-stroke engines, on the other hand, have separate oil and fuel systems, which require less maintenance.

Non-Routine Boat Maintenance

In addition to regular servicing, boats may also require other types of maintenance to keep them in good working order. This can include cleaning and polishing the boat, checking the propeller for damage, and replacing worn-out components such as the boat’s ropes, and canopies. Yachts require regular standing rigging inspections to ensure the stays that hold the mast in place are in good condition. Running rigging inspections are important too to check all the halyards and sheets for excessive wear.

Checking the propeller for damage is important, as a damaged propeller can cause vibration or reduce the boat’s speed. Propellers should be checked regularly for any signs of damage, such as chips or cracks. If any damage is found, the propeller should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Replacing worn-out components such as the boat’s ropes or anchors is also important to ensure the boat is safe to use. Ropes and anchors can become worn or damaged over time and may need replacing to prevent accidents or damage to the boat.

What’s the best time of year to get my boat serviced?

Winter can be a challenging time for boat owners, as the colder weather and shorter daylight hours can make it more difficult to use and maintain your boat. However, winter can also be an ideal time to get your boat serviced for several reasons.

Avoiding peak season demand:
The summer months are the busiest time of year for boat servicing and maintenance. This means that during peak season, it can be more difficult to find a service provider who is available to work on your boat, and prices may be higher due to increased demand. By servicing your boat during winter, you can avoid these peak season challenges and ensure that your boat is ready to go when the summer arrives.

Identifying and addressing issues before they become major problems:
Servicing your boat during the winter can help to identify any issues that may have developed during the previous boating season. By addressing these issues early on, you can prevent them from becoming major problems that could affect your boat’s performance or safety. This can save you time and money in the long run, as well as provide you with peace of mind when you hit the water in the spring.

Keeping your boat in good condition:
Winter can be a harsh time for boats, with cold temperatures posing potential risks to the vessel’s structure and components. Servicing your boat during the winter can help to keep it in good condition, preventing any damage that may occur during this period. This can include protecting your boat’s exterior by covering it with a high-quality tarp and performing routine maintenance such as oil changes, battery checks, and inspections of the engine and other key components.

Preparing your boat for the next boating season:
By servicing your boat during the winter, you can ensure that it is fully prepared for the next boating season. This can include ensuring that all of your safety equipment is up-to-date and in good condition, and checking that your boat’s navigation and communication systems are functioning properly. This will help to ensure that your boat is safe and ready to go when the summer arrives.

What do I need to do to get my boat serviced?

If you are due to get your boat serviced, simply give the team at GCCM a call on 07 5502 5888 or fill out an enquiry form here. Our friendly staff will be able to talk you through the servicing requirements for your specific vessel and book you in for your next service.


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