boat parked at marina for maintenance

Secrets To A Happy Boat | 4 Basics Of Boat Maintenance

Boats need love too…

Just like your car, your boat requires regular care and maintenance to keep it in optimal condition. And, with appropriate upkeep, it will last for several years and bring great memories to you and your family—whether using it on seas, rivers, or lakes.

However, boat care and maintenance isn’t just about inspecting a vessel visually before heading out into the waters. It’s also about caring for a boat after every trip and diligently following a maintenance schedule.

man riding in fishing boat

If you are not familiar with what is involved in boat maintenance, don’t fret! Most boat maintenance-related tasks don’t require a specialist.

In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of boat maintenance. We’ll show you how to keep your boat in excellent condition, like it brand new.

After all, if you can take care of your boat, you’ll be able to enjoy being in the water whenever you want.

Boat Maintenance List

Let’s take a look at a boat maintenance to-do list, so that you can keep your boat in top shape:

1. Keep Your Boat’s Exterior Clean

Keeping your boat’s exterior clean is important for reasons other than just looking good. 

First, having a clean boat helps prevent the spread of harmful and/or invasive species. It’s difficult to know what animal or plant has stuck to your boat, so it’s important to clean the boat, to ensure that you get rid of them, as to protect other bodies of water. 

man wearing black waterproof suit while pressure washing boat hull

Cleaning your boat’s exterior is an important part of boat maintenance that not only keeps your boat’s finish in good shape, but also prevents you from transporting invasive species to other bodies of water.

Second, having a clean boat keeps the boat structure protected by ensuring its finish is intact. For example, as time passes, the salt content of the sea will cause erosions, abrasions, and scratches, which could be too expensive to repair.

Third, a spotlessly clean vessel can save you money. If your boat’s hull is dirty, fuel costs may increase by up to 30%!

2. Keep Your Boat’s Upholstery Clean

At a minimum, you should clean your boat’s upholstery once every six months.

boat upholstery in fancy boat

High-quality boat upholstery is often resistant to sun damage, mildew, and mold. However, it can be subject to bubbling, cracking, and fading if it isn’t properly maintained. Plus, mildew and mold can make your upholstery smell bad and appear unkempt.

Follow these simple tips below when cleaning your boat’s upholstery. And, if this is too much for you, you can always ask professional boat cleaning services for help.

Here’s how to clean your boat’s upholstery:

  • Grab a brush with soft bristles and sweep the crevices and cracks of the upholstery. Make sure to get rid of any crumbs and hair strands.
  • To eradicate mold and mildew, create a vinegar solution (two parts water and three parts white vinegar). Use a spray bottle to apply the solution and let it soak for several minutes.
  • Rinse the vinegar solution with warm water. You may use a sponge to wipe down surfaces, too. 
  • Consider applying tea tree oil or baking soda if there’s stubborn mildew or mold. However, be more careful when it comes to stitching. Wipe and dry the excess using a microfiber cloth.
  • Lastly, apply a marine protection solution. This provides UV protection to prevent sun damage.


3. Store Your Boat

Storage is another critical part of boat maintenance. Most boat owners don’t use their vessels for 12 months a year. So, they must store them when the boating season reaches its finale. Learning how to store and winterize your boat may help prolong its lifespan. 

yacht boat at marina

There are many ways to store your boat, depending on where you live. Storage fees typically range from USD$50 to USD$200 per foot—when in season. 

During winter, you need to keep your boat away from ice, moisture, and snow. However, you shouldn’t seal it airtight, because it requires proper airflow to prevent mildew growth. Also, fuel and fluid lines must be clear to ensure that chemicals don’t destroy anything.

  • On The Water Storage: This is a good option for warmer climates. Most marinas and harbors will let you store your boat all year round.
  • Outdoor Storage: This is a cost-effective boat storage solution. Hire a pro to wrap your boat to ensure optimum protection and airflow. 
  • Indoor Storage: You can store your boat in your garage if you have ample spare space. Or you can rent a storage unit if your budget allows it.

Prepare your boat for storage with these simple tips:

  • Check all hoses and replace those that are damaged.
  • Replace inline fuel filters.
  • Clean the propeller and its shaft, and make sure to lubricate them properly.
  • Flush the waterlines and engine using clean water.
  • Remove spark plugs and lubricate the holes.
  • Fill the tank with fuel and add an antibacterial stabilizer.
  • Remove the battery and keep it to preserve the charge.
  • Remove all electronics and carpets.

Following these tips before you store your boat for a long time will help preserve its condition correctly.


4. Follow The Boat Maintenance Checklist

Mechanic installing speed boat engine

Here’s a basic boat maintenance checklist below to help you keep track of the boat parts that may require attention

Boat Maintenance Checklist:

  • Engine: Inspect for loose belts and cracked hoses and replace them immediately. And, check to ensure that the outboard motor is secured. 
  • Propeller: If your boat has a stern drive or outboard motor, make sure you check the propeller before launching. Inspect the nut and tighten it using a deep socket wrench if necessary.
  • Battery: Like every vehicle, the battery is the heart of the boat. Without it, the engine and other electrical components won’t start. Check your battery once a year and inspect its charge with a multimeter, and also check connectors for corrosion. 
  • Bilge Pump: The bilge is a part where excess water accumulates, and the bilge pump removes it. So, if it doesn’t work properly, your boat might sink. You can also buy a backup pump in case of emergency.
  • Electrical Lines: Inspect electrical lines for deterioration, as they could become a fire hazard. Always keep them clean to ensure that everything works fine.
  • Oil And Filter: Change the oil and filter whenever necessary, according to manufacturer’s recommendations. If you don’t, some engine parts may get damaged. 
  • Fluid Levels: To ensure optimal boat performance, check other fluid levels occasionally, such as coolant and power steering fluids.


Final Thoughts On Boat Maintenance

boat in water with motor running

Proper boat maintenance may help your vessel perform better. By using the checklists and information above, you can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience.

If you need an extra hand, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. There are a number of companies like Seakeeper Maintenance, or other boat service providers that can help guarantee the best condition of your boat parts.

Enjoy your time on the water!

various types of kayaks leaning against a wall

Whatever Floats Your Boat! | Types of Kayaks Compared

Despite what some may believe, there are, in fact, many different types of kayaks to choose from depending on your kayaking goals.

These different kayak types have distinct features that can impact function and should be selected for your specific needs.

various types of kayaks on shore

Some kayaks are longer or wider to promote increased straight-ahead speed and stability in calm waters. On the other hand, if you see yourself in a whitewater situation, then a short, stubby, and maneuverable craft will serve you best. So which type should you choose? Keep reading!

Well, don’t get intimidated by what is ultimately a simple boat! Let’s take a look at the different types of kayaks so you can find out for yourself!

Types Of Kayaks

Lucky for you, this guide will provide guidance and information surrounding some of the main kayak types, to direct you toward the best kayak for your next adventure!

You can click on the links below to jump straight to the various types:

Sit-In Kayaks

man and woman in sit-in kayaks

Sit-in kayaks are probably what you imagine when you picture a kayak.

Also called recreational kayaks, sit-in kayaks have one seat that is in the center of a boat that usually ranges from 8-12 feet long.

Sit-in kayaks are designed for comfort; with the bodies being wide, making entering and exiting easier. They typically also have a lot of leg room for the occupant.

The comfort-oriented design of a sit-in kayak lends itself to calm water travel. A recreational kayak like this can travel at decent speeds and stays stable in a relaxed water environment.

The downsides, however, are that these designs can struggle through rough water, in strong wind, and over long distances.

On the upside, recreational kayaks are usually one of the more affordable options given their widespread availability. Their versatility and price point make them a great option for any kayaker.


Sit-On-Top Kayak

pelican sit on top kayak

Sit-on-top kayaks are similar to the standard sit-in, recreational kayak.

The key difference is that instead of the occupant sitting inside the kayak structure, they sit on top, as the name implies. (photo credit: Amazon)

The open-air design of sit-on-top kayaks makes entering and exiting even easier than the typical sit-in kayak. What’s more, the lack of walls around your legs and feet provides significantly more room for a rider, making these types of kayaks extremely comfortable.

This open-air concept also makes for a more efficient hunting kayak setup, giving the hunter more range and freedom to move about.

The sit-on-top kayaks are also great options if you are looking to do some fishing.

The downside to the open-air design, however, is the fact that the rider has little protection from the outside elements.

These kayaks, similar to sit-in kayaks, do well in calm waters. But again, these type kayaks can struggle greatly in maneuvering rough waters.


Whitewater Kayaks

man paddling in a whitewater kayak

If you have rough water adventure in your sights, a whitewater kayak may be what you’re looking for!

While the first two kayaks we discussed excel in calm waters, whitewater kayaks fill a different niche.

These kayaks are designed for fast, rushing whitewater with rapids and they tend to be shorter in length to increase maneuverability and stability in these difficult conditions.

However, the shorter length makes distance traveling in calm waters particularly difficult. In this sense, whitewater kayaks can struggle outside of a whitewater setting, which makes this model of the kayak a one-trick pony of sorts. 


Tandem Kayaks

woman and kid kayaking

Kayaks are traditionally sleek and made for just a single person. But, then there are tandem kayaks…

Tandem Kayaks are designed such that two people can be seated in the watercraft as opposed to just one.

Tandem crafts can be found in numerous styles, including the sit-in and sit-on-top models. However, the tandem version of these two types of kayaks is going to be heavier and more expensive.

Fitting an extra person with you in a tandem kayak comes at a price. You are giving up speed and maneuverability due to the extra weight. However, you should expect to be more stable on the water with your extra passenger.

Plus, who doesn’t love kayaking with a friend?

Portable Kayaks

man and woman riding in inflatable kayak

Portable kayaks can encompass any of the kayak types we outlined avove.

The key difference between portable kayaks and regular kayaks is that portable ones can be broken down into smaller, more manageable packages to transport.

There are two types of portables: inflatable kayaks (like the one pictured above) and collapsable kayaks.

Portable kayaks are usually more affordable and easier to transport. However, they have factors you’ll want to consider before purchasing. For example, you’ll have to inflate or assemble them once you get to the waterfront.

woman in collapsible kayak

Portable kayaks can make transportation a cinch. But, you’ll also be giving up some conveniences…

Portable kayaks also tend not to move through the water as efficiently as other types due to their design. They may also lack some of the comforts of a more standard-construction kayak.

With that being said, there is a range of portable kayaks available on the market, with some costing more but providing more features such as stability, upgraded seating, propulsion systems, etc.

Just like with most things, in the world of kayaks, in one way or another, you get what you pay for!


Final Thoughts On The Different Kayak Types

people sitting in calm water in kayaks

At the end of the day, there are several types of kayaks to choose from depending on what you want from the boat and the specific activity you’re looking to take part in. There is truly a kayak for all styles of life, for all cars, and for all different types and speeds of water.

Consider the bodies of water you wish to explore in your kayak, as the speed of the water will help guide you towards the correct boat.

Kayaking is a great experience alone or with friends and should be a staple for any person who enjoys being on the water.

So, get on a kayak and get paddling!

man on wing foil

Water Sports Names You Need To Know (And Try!)

Whether you are an expert or just being adventurous on your vacation, water sports activities are an excellent way of enjoying your outdoors.

man in midair kitesurfing

Swimming, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, and other water activities can have significant mind-body benefits and the calming nature of water bodies is also thought by many to improve mental health.

Swimming, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, and other water activities can have significant mind-body benefits and the calming nature of water bodies is also thought by many to improve mental health.

Below are six water sports activities you should try:


Windsurfing is a common water sport that typically combines the characteristics of surfing and sailing.

wind surfing mid-air

The activity involves balancing yourself on the water while controlling the wind direction. If you haven’t tried it yet, learning to windsurf can be tons of fun. However, you should learn various techniques and maneuvers, such as jumps, tacks, jibs, and starts.

Like any other water sport, you should begin by learning various windsurfing equipment. A windsurfing kit includes a windsurfing board, rig, and windsurfing clothing.


While professional windsurfers don’t rely on weather conditions to enjoy the waters, strong winds are essential for this sport. So, if you are a beginner, you should plan your surfing experience during summer and choose destinations with good wind.

man wind surfing

You should then learn the basics on land before heading to the sea. Due to the steep learning curve, the best and fastest way to learn is by enrolling in a windsurfing school.

You should also check wind direction and speed. Choose places with wind speeds ranging from 7 to 15 knots (1 knot = approximately 1.15 miles per hour).

Some of the best windsurfing spots worldwide include France, the Canary Islands, California, Greece, Hawaii, New Zealand, Egypt, and North Carolina.

Jet Skiing

Jet skiing is another exciting and thrilling way to get into the waters. This high-speed water sport is great for developing balance, coordination skills, and leg muscles.

man on jet ski

Jet skiing is a popular water sport that most people easily pick up and also can be an adrenaline rush as you speed across the water.

Besides being a thrilling sport, jet skiing has several health and fitness benefits, which include:

  • Improves blood circulation – Balancing and coordinating the ski requires you to stabilize your muscles and have a firm grip on the equipment. This increases blood circulation, ensuring oxygen and essential nutrients reach all parts.
  • Burns calories – Outdoor adventures, like hiking and most watersports, are an excellent way of burning calories. Jet skiing is not only fun but also an excellent way of burning 400 calories in an hour.
  •  Strengthens muscles – Skiing regularly helps build body muscles. Balancing jet skiing, especially during strong waves, helps develop abdominal muscles.
  • Reduces stress – Recreational watersports, such as jet skiing, help many people forget their daily stress, which may help improve mental health.

Unlike camping and other outdoor adventures, the best way to get started on jet skiing is by completing a training course. Even if you’ve tried before, a jet ski course equips you with the necessary skills to ride safely. Most launch sites currently demand a certificate for anyone to be allowed into the water.


Wing Foiling

Wing foiling is probably the hottest and most fascinating water sport of recent times.

wing foiling

Since its introduction, more windsurfers and kiters have ditched their favorite water sport for winging for various reasons.

The feeling of drifting over water using wind is incredible and addictive. Wing foiling (or, “winging”) basically involves using foil wings to catch some breeze while standing on a waterboard with an attached hydrofoil.

For starters, wing foiling requires less equipment and is easier to learn. The entire setup is also travel-friendly.


man wing foiling

Unlike kitesurfing kites, harnesses, cords, and windsurfing boards, you only need a wing and foil to start winging.

You can easily bag and check in your equipment when traveling. Wings and foils are compact enough and can fit your booked apartment or rental car without necessarily installing roof racks.

While this sounds simple and straightforward, there’s a learning curve involved. For instance, managing the wing can prove challenging for beginners. You should also master how to balance the rising foil.


Kitesurfing is another excellent watersport for any active person. Like other watersports mentioned above, nobody is too young or old to try out kitesurfing.

person kitesurfing

Kiteboarding is practiced on nearly every shore because of the simple equipment requirements. All you need to get started is water, wind, a board, and a kite.

If you are new to the sport, you should consider taking some training classes.


Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

There’s a lot of confusion between scuba diving and snorkeling. So, let’s clarify the differences…

man scuba diving

Scuba diving is a common water sport that can be done in shallow and deep water and is basically underwater diving, where participants dive using self-contained breathing equipment that doesn’t depend on surface air supply. This enables divers to stay underwater longer.

On the other hand, snorkeling involves swimming at or near the surface a body of water, with your face down, while wearing a diving mask or snorkel, a breathing tube that allows divers to stay underwater for longer than if simply holding your brreath.

woman snorkeling

Snorkeling is best practiced in shallow water and allows participants to observe underwater attractions for some period without much breathing effort. You’ll definitely need some swimming lessons to participate in these sports.

Children are not recommended to try snorkeling due to potential safety hazards.


woman and kid kayaking

Kayaking is one of the most-loved and versatile water sports across the U.S., enjoyed by individuals of all ages.

With a simple kayak, you can enjoy the peaceful nature of calm water, and even fish, away from the hustle and bustle.

It’s also a good water sport of choice for anyone who prefers calm outdoor environments and the waters.

The only challenge is choosing a suitable kayak from the various types, including recreational, touring, and sit-on kayaks.


Final Thoughts On The Water Sports Names You Need To Know

Water sports are an often less-explored outdoor activity that provide unmatched fun as well as health benefits.

beach water

Your outdoor water activities shouldn’t be limited to wading in the water and collecting seashells. You should take advantage of your access to the oceans, lakes and rivers by engaging in any one or more of the above listed adrenaline-pumping activities.

You should consider the activities mentioned above in your next outdoor adventure!