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Finance a Life Event

How to Fix Up Your Boat

Just the same as a car, you can buy a boat new or used. Even if you purchase a brand-spanking-new boat, there may come a time in the future when it needs a repair (or two).

As a boat owner, there is nothing more enjoyable than taking to the water. Conversely, there is nothing more frustrating than learning that your boat requires an expensive repair.

If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to take three key steps:

  1. Pinpoint the problem
  2. Find a professional who can fix your boat (if you can’t do it yourself)
  3. Decide how you’ll pay for the repair

The first two steps are simple enough, but the third one may not come as easy.

In a perfect world, you’ll be able to use cash savings to pay for the repair. If this doesn’t work for you, it’s time to consider your other options.

For example, a personal loan provides access to the money you need, without having to put up collateral. While you could wait and wait until you save the cash, it usually costs money to store the boat as well, and you don’t want it to just sit there when you could be out enjoying it.

Common Boat Repairs

You never know what the future holds. Just when you least expect it – such as when you’re many miles away from shore – your boat could experience a problem.

Here are some of the many components of a boat that may require a repair at some point:

1. Engine

Just because something goes wrong with your boat’s engine doesn’t necessarily mean it needs replacing. If you’re lucky, the engine will only require a small fix.

Unfortunately, there are times when you have no choice but to replace the engine. Unless you know exactly what you’re doing, visit an experienced boat mechanic who can inspect the engine and provide advice on what to do next.

2. Electrical System

Simply put, repairing or replacing the wiring on a boat can be extremely complex. Not only are their safety concerns to contend with, but wiring typically runs under decks and into compartments that are not easily accessible.

Tip: if you’re interested in a used boat, have a mechanic inspect the electrical system before making a purchase.

3. Bilge Pump

Many people overlook the fact that their boat’s bilge pump could fail at some point. Instead, they simply assume this critical component will always do its job.

Get this: the bilge pump is often your only defense against sinking.

man leans on his boat

With this in mind, you should never take to the water if your boat’s bilge pump is out of order. Your only option at that point is to have this part repaired. Until then, stay on dry land!

4. Deck

Your boat’s deck takes a good bit of abuse. For this reason, it’s essential to keep a close eye on how it’s wearing and if any repairs are required.

Tip: it’s better to be proactive when it comes to boat deck repairs than to wait until a small problem turns into something major.

Common boat deck repairs include:

  • Sealing cracks (these are sure to develop over time)
  • Replacing damaged deck boards
  • Adding a new coat of paint or carpet (depending on the type of deck)

In addition to preserving the structure and safety of your boat, deck repairs can also enhance the appearance.

5. Propeller

Even if your engine is in good working condition, it doesn’t mean that your boat’s propeller is up to par.

Before buying a new propeller, find out if your current one can be repaired. If it can’t, here are some details to consider:

  • Size
  • Number of blades (three and four blade are most popular)
  • Material (composite, aluminum, stainless steel)

Tip: if you’re having work done on your boat’s engine, have the mechanic inspect the propeller as well.

Getting Back in the Water

So, there you have it. With this information in hand, you should better understand how to fix your boat.

Even if you’re the most diligent owner in regards to maintenance, your boat could still require a repair in the future.

If you find yourself in this situation, hire a mechanic who can explain the problem and potential cost. From there, decide how you’ll pay for the repair and then move forward. You’ll be back on the water soon enough!

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