Lowering The Cost Of Boat Maintenance
Budget Friendly Boat Repairs?
Boats are somewhat demanding regarding their maintenance requirements as the harsh marine environment takes its toll. The cost for replacement parts and the labor can rapidly build and cause the boat to be viewed as a money pit. Boat owners can perform much of the maintenance themselves given the proper knowledge and resources.
To start with, boat maintenance is not as bad as it sounds. A good mechanical aptitude and some knowledge will go a long ways. Most will have the ability to do at least some of it. There are resources all over the internet with a wealth of knowledge to assist with any problems. The one area to be extremely cautious with would be any work performed below the water line or anything that could be considered life threatening if it does fail. Overall most maintenance is possible even with limited skills.
Replacement parts should always be substituted up to standards with marine applications. I know it sounds easier to run out to the local auto parts store and retrofit things but this can be costly and maybe even unsafe in the end. Boat parts are designed to be just that and using any other would be considered substandard. This isn’t as much of an issue with outboard parts as outboard motors have specific engines unlike cars have. Inboard engines however look just like a car motor with a few differences. It should be noted that they are not car motors and were not engineered for cars at all even though their appearance is similar. Don’t ever replace boat parts with any other type of component or it could get you into trouble later on.
The general feel of the marine industry is things are expensive. I’ve heard someone say more than once that if it has the word marine attached to it then it will be three times the cost. The best way to approach this would be to purchase items online when possible and go with aftermarket boat parts when you can. The advantage to purchasing online is the competition is high which drives process lower. I’m sure if you do a quick comparison for any kind of boat parts both local and online the difference will surprise you. The most benefit here seems to be when purchasing outboard parts from an aftermarket online retailer as most of the time only OEM versions are available from most dealers. Either way paying full retail will only reinforce the notion that everything marine is expensive and put a huge dent in your wallet.
To give a final piece of advice here it is probably the most important thing. Read the labels. Yes read the labels of anything you replace or install to insure you are using it for the correct application. I know it sounds crazy but not all supplies are created equal nor are they made for everything. Use correct sealant for the correct purpose and mix chemicals to their correct formulations. Install parts using the correct torque settings and don’t cut corners replacing boat parts with other components. Even marine wire is coated just for installation on a boat unlike house wiring which is not manufactured for the purpose. I know the label thing seems obvious here but I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen things like household caulk used as sealant and extension cords used as wiring. The whole label thing can seem comical but remember, marine parts and supplies can be costly and if the boat owner is not willing to foot the bill you can end up with it that way.
So a private owner performing their own boat maintenance can be done. Using replacement parts and supplies for the correct purpose along with shopping online can benefit many. Knowledge and resources are available and a closer look with a little work can save you both time and money in the end.
Links for great priced parts!
- Fish Finder
Fishfinder Combos and other marine electronics at great prices!
- Marine Supplies
Boat Parts, Marine Radar, Outboard Parts, and even a Fish Finder at discounted prices! Here at Boaters On Top we carry top brands such as CDI electronics, Sierra Marine, and other manufacturers including electronics by Lowrance, Garmin, Raymarine and
- Outboard Parts
Outboard parts for most makes. Great prices on aftermarket outboard parts.
- Boat Parts
Thousands of boat parts and outboard engine parts! Aftermarket engine parts at discount prices!