Boat is not a word, but an acronym for "Break Out Another Thousand." Read these tips and your wallet will appreciate it.
A man much smarter than me once spoke of the most important thing we all have. He said it wasn't money, even though money is nice, but time.
We can always make more money, but we can't change how much time we have here on this Earth. He said it's up to us to decide what we are going to do with that time.
I don't believe my time should be spent unnecessarily working on the boat.
In fact, I think my time is best spent fishing, so when I rebuilt my boat I was sure to build everything out as ruggedly as possible. Because of this and good maintenance intervals I never have to worry about my boat performing when it's time to fish.
Isn't that great?
Tips to make boating less expensive:
Tip 1: Treat that lower unit
Take a minute to check your lower unit oil. If it looks anything other than clean and clear then chances are you have a leaking seal.
If you continue to fish with a leaking lower unit it will, as per Murphy's Law, explode into tiny pieces...most likely deep inside the marsh where no one can reach you.
While you are at it, spin the prop and see if it is wobbling at all. If it is, you may have a bent prop shaft.
Tip 2: Do your electrical wiring right (the first time)
There is nothing worse than having electrical problems on a boat, especially when you are out in the middle of nowhere. You want to keep your electrical system dry and corrosion free.
If not, then you will spend your fishing trip isolating a bad ground so you can get home safely.
Do this by ventilating closed areas of the boat so mildew doesn't form. Putting a light coat of Corrosion-X on all connections is a great way to keep them from corroding.
Just be sure to use the variant that is safe for electrical connections.
I take this tip a step further by using breakers, not fuses, for my accessory panel and then keeping spare fuses for any I do use aboard my boat.
Additionally, I use terminals with heat shrink so as little metal as possible is exposed to the elements.
Tip 3: Nyloc like it is 1999
My greatest pet peeve with previous boats I owned were the screws that would inevitably rattle loose. When you take a boat across rough water and give it a good beating things will rattle apart.
I counter this by installing Nyloc nuts. They don't come loose with vibration. Needless to say, they are stainless steel! This is more expensive but pays for itself in the long term.
Tip 4: Freshwater rinse after every trip
It seems obvious, but too many people put their boat on the trailer (or in the slip) and walk inside to rest and relax after a hard day of fishing. The time right after a fishing trip is when you want to give the boat a good rinsing.
The inshore waters of Louisiana are tough on a boat and will eat away at critical hardware and connections while you sleep.
Tip 5: Cover her up
The worst thing to happen to a boat is to be left alone. When a boat is not used and left exposed to the elements different components can unnecessarily become damaged.
Invest in a decent cover for your console and motor, at the bare minimum, and protect your inshore fishing investment.
Do you have a tip for making boating less expensive? Then head on over to our forum, Louisiana Fishing Reports, and let us know what works for you to keep from breaking out another thousand.