How divers should care for our boats

Down the coast

  1. Sand is the enemy of all club gear from regs to anchor ropes. Please try to keep sand out of the boats. When doing beach changes dip gear in the water before loading onto the boat. Similarly for the anchor, rope and chain.
  2. Petrol is bad for the carpet – it dissolves the glue and the delaminated carpet wears rapidly. If you spill fuel in the boat immediately thoroughly rinse. If you are on the water just have someone hold the bailers open.
  3. Avoid using the top console during boat runs – the salt wrecks the electronics. Put GPSs, hats, glasses and snakes in a lower console.
  4. If you have driven more then a few km to the boat ramp let the hubs cool for 5-15 minutes, before launching.
  5. Don’t push and pull on the sounder fitting, it makes the problem worse not better.

After the trip

  1. Salt is the next enemy of club gear. After each trip we aim to clean the salt off the boat and trailer. Unless there is a lot of dirt, oil or road grim on the boat heavy-duty washing is not necessary. Make sure you rinse the trailer including brakes. Do the hubs last so they have time to cool down.
  2. It is easiest to just rinse the boat at a Carlovers type car wash. But, we cannot always rely on the boat towers to do this for us – they already do more then their share – so occasionally we wash the boats at the club shed on the Monday after a trip. If it’s cool weather hang up the anchor chain so it doesn’t stain the rope but don’t worry about the rope, a bit of damp won’t hurt them.
  3. The boats also need to be prepared for the next trip, so: top up the oil, refill the oil bottle, refill the water and clean out the rubbish.

Minor Working bees

Occasionally (ideally every ½ a dozen trips but in practice …) we do a mini working bee to give the boats some TLC. Some of the things we do are:

  1. Wash the boats, particularly cleaning off the oils stains that build up around the engine bay and towing hitch.
  2. Wipe down the engine to clean off the oil and salt, lightly spray the engine with corrosion guard.
  3. Clean out the consoles and wash – fresh water only in the top one.
  4. Spray the sounder and towing plugs with electrical contact spray (eg CRC 2-26).
  5. Check the hub bearing – jack them up, to check there is no play and they spin smoothly.
  6. Empty and refill the water containers
  7. Other maintenance as required – there is always some bit of wonky electrics.

Major Working bees

Twice per year, just before the Lady Musgrave Island trip and around change of year, we do a major working bee. Where we:

  1. Everything that we do in the mini working bee.
  2. Regrease, and if necessary replace, the bearings.
  3. Thoroughly wash the boats.
  4. Give the pontoons a light coating with 707 vinyl protector.
  5. Give all the grease nipples a squirt of grease.
  6. Check and if necessary adjust the brakes.
  7. Whatever other maintenance is needed (electrics, bungy cord, carpet gluing, etc).