Boat Maintenance 101

G’day everyone. My name is Paal Benedetti, and I’m the owner of Custom Marine USA located in Bluffton, South Carolina, we do boat maintenance.

I have been in the marine business for 25 years, with certifications in hull fiberglass layup work, custom fabrication and marine coatings. I hope you all enjoyed your season on the water.

If you are thinking about putting your boat away for the season, stop and think about what you need to do now first.

Here are some simple tips if you are not going to use your boat until next season or for a prolonged time.

Make sure your boat is winterized:

■ Fill gas tank with non-ethanol gas

■ Add stabilizer

■ Clean your boat with pure vinegar to dissolve salt residue to stop rusting and water spotting and then rinse very well.

■ Give the boat a coat of liquid wax/easy wax for protection. 3M makes an easy on and off wax, or try Forecca polymer wax as it is also easy to apply.

■ If you cover your boat, put two or more basting pans with clumping cat litter to stop mildew.

■ Make sure bilge area is dry and clean – use a degreaser/simple green.

■ If you are unsure, have a reputable technician look at your mechanicals and electrical because these are the areas that cause more problems over a stored season before you go to use it next season.

Remember, preventative boat maintenance is always cheaper than procrastination.

Besides winterizing your boat, there are a few things you can do to make your old boat new again as opposed to buying a new boat:

■ Gelcoat repair/Gelcoat restoration (polishing and waxing)

■ Customization

■ Advantages of painting your boat

■ Repair work – Soft decks, Transoms

■ Fabrication – Hard tops, Customization: upgrading your old boat’s look

Before you decide what work to do on your boat, you need to acquire knowledge. Be informed for your sake, and for those of us who work in the industry.

There are a few good reputable service centers out there, and the experts that are certified should be able to answer your questions.

If they can’t, consider taking your business elsewhere. It is my goal to educate boat owners on simple applications and awareness.

If you have any questions, feel free to call me at (843) 304-2798. I am proud to be part of an industry that is a lifestyle.

Paal Benedetti  |  Custom Marine USA

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