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5 smart ways to make your boat last longer

You took the dive, you committed your money, and you finally bought a boat. Now is the time to savor and enjoy the glorious world of boat ownership.

Starting on day one, make it a point to follow these relatively easy guidelines that will help maintain the durability and longevity of your boat.

1. Remember to cruise

Anyone who gets a boat, especially early after acquiring it, is prone to hit the water and open up that engine wide. Hey, you can’t be blamed for that, right?!

That’s all well and good, as long as you’re being safe. But remember this: Boat engines aren’t exactly built to be ripped and roared for long periods. If you’re heading in for the day, instead of tearing through open water to “make good time,” think about topping off at a cruising speed instead.

That’s the sweet spot, where your engine won’t be terribly stressed immediately after shutting it down for the day once you reach the dock. The same goes for starting off, too. Warm up your engine before hitting high gear.

2. Flush it

Flushing your motor to avoid salt deposits will go a long way. It sounds like a simple task in your head, but can actually take a while.

Do it anyway.

Learn the proper process and flush the engine at operating temps.

3. Don’t skimp

It’s easier on the mind and the wallet to say, “I’ll just go with the cheaper oil this time,” but your boat engine would wince if it could hear you.

And those DIY, inexpensive fixes are fun to brag about, but they are usually going to pale in comparison to having a professional, with the right tools, address any big issues or malfunctions.

4. Store it properly

This sort of relates to number three, but c’mon, you’re not really going to leave your boat uncovered for that long, are you?

Consider shrink-wrapping when you know you’ll be off the water for the winter. There are even chemical dehumidifiers you can use to help absorb moisture, but don’t rely solely on those. You should always be sure to completely dry out your boat to the best of your capabilities before storage.

5. Use the dang thing

Sure, there will be seasons when your boat is used less than others, but for crying out loud, don’t let your engine sit idle and your boat stay dry for too long.

If you run your engine to get oil and gas moving, at least once a week, you’re headed in the right direction.