Maintaining a boat that spends its time in the water can be expensive. You need to take the boat out on the water on a regular basis and work the engine and transmission for the best performance. If you do not have time to do that, you should at least run the engine and put the boat in gear when at the slip at least once a month. Not only does it work the motor and transmission, but also moves the water through the shaft log and cutlass bearing, giving the prop shaft much needed oxygen to keep from rusting. If you do not do these tasks, you significantly increase the cost of ownership of your boat.
Bottom cleaning is another important regular maintenance activity every boat in the water requires. Without regular cleaning, the bottom deteriorates and the end results can be a significant increase in maintenance costs. Boats that have been severely neglected sometimes need to be stripped to the fiberglass before putting on a barrier coat and then the final anti-fouling paint.
People fudge a lot on some of the critical maintenance tasks on their boats due to costs. Whether it is not having a regular diving service or using substandard hoses and electrical components, using poor quality materials can lead to really bad problems later. This is hard and fast rule for all boaters.
I digress. What I want to do in the next couple of posts is to show you some pictures and talk about the process of preparing a neglected hull for a new lease on life in the water. This particular (see pictures) boat was left unattended for over four years, and as a consequence, the bottom needed a lot of work to make it sound. In the next post I will talk about the condition you see in the pictures and the first step in repairing the bottom.