Boat maintenance for Lake Ontario is paramount to ensuring a safe and successful outing on the Big Pond. With proper maintenance, the vessel is in its best position to deliver, as it is expected to do. In this post, we will discuss typical, but neccessary tasks to be performed.
Onboard safety gear is not only required by USCG regulations, but is just a plain ole good idea to have along should something go wrong. For OUPV vessels such as ours here at Ace Charters our safety items include the following which must be maintained and in good working order:
Included by Most Boat Manufacturers
Other safety items which are typically required and provided by most boat manufacturers include flame arresters, horns, and navigation lights. All of these items need to be checked and insured to be in good working order. Replace or repair as neccessary so they work the way they are supposed to do.
Engine maintenance is required and should be performed at the recomended intervals ar spelled out by the owner’s manual. These include but are not limited to, oil and filter changes, fuel filter changes, and engine tune-ups. We religiously change our engine oil, well below the 100 hour requirement for the T6 full synthetic Rotella oil that we use. 1515 Napa Gold oil filters are changed per engine as well. Fleet Filter has great pricing on the 1515 filters. Water fuel separators are changed out every spring or as needed should there be a bad batch of gas. Our Crusader engines have fuel pump housing filters which we change out yearly. Last but not least, we inspect and change as needed caps, rotors, and sparkplugs.
We check our tranny fluid levels often, at least monthly. We look for color, fluid level and check for a burnt smell which would indicate the fluid has issues and needs to be changed. Be sure to use the recomended type and amount of trany fluid as specified by the manufacturer.
Thru Hull Fittings and Packings
Another area of boat maintenance for Lake Ontario includes periodically checking all thru hull fittings for leaks. These include petcocks for washdown pumps, raw water engine intakes, prop shaft stuffing and rudder stuffing boxes. Be sure to adjust stuffing boxes for proper drip rates. Stuffing boxes need monitoring throughout the season. We change out the prop shaft stuffing at least every other year. We prefer 100% GAF material. Rudder stuffing lasts much longer!
Some Final Tips
Having the right tools for the job sure can make life easier. We use a giant set of slip-joint pliers to remove stubborn oil and water fuel separators. We acquired a set of large red handled slip-joints at Harbor Freight for $20.00. Also, be sure to check that the oil and filter gaskets come off with the filters and don’t stick to the housing before installing the new ones. We prefill the filters with either oil or gas as needed and lube the gaskets before spinning them on hand tight back onto the housings.
If you have any questions , feel free to contact us at 413-346-7675 or via our contact form with any of the questions you may have . We will be happy to answer them. If you would like to book a trip please call 413-346-7675 or feel free to use our contact form as well!