Have you ever pondered the question, "How can some relatively new boats appear so old while so many older boats look like new?" The distinction can be striking and in most ... read more cases, a boat's appearance and operating condition have very little to do with how much the boat is used. The deciding factor is simply how well the owner cares for it after and between uses. Here's a case that illustrates the point while providing a template for keeping your boat looking and running like new.
Roger owns a 32-foot Regulator® center console powered by twin Yamaha 350 outboards. To look at it resting in the slip at the marina, it appears to have just come off the showroom floor. The sea-foam green hull shines; the white interior and matching white pipework that supports the T-Top gleams in the sun. The isinglass windows of the enclosure are scratch free and crystal clear, and the stainless steel deck hardware sparkles.
Even the big Yamaha engines look factory fresh, but looks can be deceiving. Roger purchased the boat new in 2008 and has racked up an impressive amount of hours over the last six years. And they aren't exactly easy hours, either. While he enjoys taking his grandchildren out for a few hours on the water, Roger is an avid ocean fisherman. The way he fishes requires a boat that is in top shape mechanically, but it's obvious he also takes great pride in its appearance.
"This is not my first boat or my biggest," said Roger. "I owned a 50-foot, diesel-powered convertible that I kept behind my house for quite a few years. I made a lot of canyon trips in that one."
Roger is not obsessive about the care and maintenance of his boats, but he does follow a protocol that has served his vessels well over the years and protected his investment for personal use and resale.
"I do my best to maintain my boats so they are ready to go fishing whenever I am," he said. "I always follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule on the engines and my own schedule for everything else on the boat. And I always take the time to clean my boat and do all the little things that need to be done after each and every use throughout the season. That is the key to keeping it looking and running like new."
The 32' is kept in a slip during the fishing season, which for Roger stretches from early April through mid-December, a span of almost nine months.
When it comes out at the end of the season, the engines are professionally winterized by a Yamaha-trained mechanic, the fuel on board is treated with the proper additives to prevent it breaking down while the boat is stored, and the freshwater water system and head receive a dose of antifreeze. But that's not all.
Roger also cleans and treats the canvas and isinglass before removing it for storage at home. Then he gives the boat a thorough cleaning with special attention to any stains on the fiberglass and finishes it up with a heavy coat of wax inside and out. All this is done before the boat is shrink-wrapped for winter.
In the spring, the boat is commissioned and everything is gone over with a fine-tooth comb. The bottom and running gear below the water line get a fresh overcoat of antifouling paint; the hull and interior are washed down and waxed again. When it's splashed, the boat looks and runs like new for the start of another fishing season. The key is to keep it that way between uses.
As he leaves, Roger usually stops to look at the boat one last time before heading home, knowing it will be there looking great and ready to go fishing at a moment's notice.
Protecting the inside and outside of your boat and engines pays big dividends when it's time to use it again or time to sell it for another. It's easy to find just the right products at great values to help protect your boating investment at iboats.com pages such as these: