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5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Boat Running Smoothly

May 1, 2011
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My livelihood depends on my boat running, so it is extremely important for me to make sure it is maintained all the time. Although your livelihood may not depend on your boat, the amount of fun you have is directly tied to it. Nothing is worse than heading to the lake to ride and being shut down by your boat. There are a few basic boat maintenance tips you can use to make sure your wakeboard boat is always running in top condition as well as a few things to have on board just in case it’s not. — MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour driver Travis Moye

Never overlook the oil

The most important boat maintenance tip is to make sure you consistently check and change your oil and filter. I recommend checking your oil every time you go out. It takes less than a minute, and it can save you a world of trouble. Also, change the oil every 50 hours or every four months, whichever comes first. I always carry 2 or 3 quarts of oil as well as a small funnel or nozzle. This can save you from being stuck in the middle of the lake with a buzzer going off or from limping back to the dock.

Take care of the tranny

Equally important as checking the oil, you need to check your transmission fluid. I feel like most people overlook this, but if your transmission is ruined, it could keep you out of the water for a while and cost a ton of money. A wakeboard boat’s transmission always works hard — tons of starting and stopping and handling heavy loads. I typically check my transmission fluid every couple of weeks and change it at about 250 hours or once a season.

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Clean the filter

Another easy check is the inline water filter. Most are simple to see and clean. If you ride in a lake with a lot of grass or muck or have to travel through shallow water around boat ramps or canals, you may be taking up some trash through your intake. Luckily, the water filter will catch all of that for you. Make sure this is always cleaned out so you get plenty of water flow to keep the engine running cool.

Keep it flowing

You should look at the impellers every 250 hours or once a season as well. There is an impeller on your water pump and on each of your ballast pumps. If the impellers are in bad shape, it will end up taking a toll on your engine or your pumps simply from lack of water flow. It is really easy to take off the lid and make sure all of the blades are intact. If not, just pop it out and replace it.

Wipe it down

Last but not least, make sure to give your boat a good wipe down after every session, inside and out. Just taking five or 10 minutes can really help keep your boat looking perfect. Not to mention, you may discover little issues you would never have known about that are easy to fix now but could be major if let go for too long.

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