RIB Maintenance guide 101
Posted by:GJW Direct | Feb 6, 2020
Regular maintenance can help avoid the disappointment of your boat failing when out on the water and save a fortune on costly repairs. Annual servicing by a professional is essential, but there are a few simple checks you can monitor yourself to keep your RIB in good working order.
In between trips out on the water, it’s important to give your RIB the once over. Here are the essentials you need to review:
- Rinse off the boat after use to rid parts of saltwater. It is essential to flush fresh water through your engine after every use. This single action will be integral to preserving and ensuring the longevity of your outboard. Follow the guidance notes provided by the manufacturer of your particular outboard.
- Assess the hull for signs of damage and repair any knocks or scratches with gelcoat.
- Treat tubes with cleaning and aftercare products to remove mould and other growths, oxidation, stains and prevent UV damage.
- Check hoses and connections for leaks or cracks and repair to prevent further damage.
- Monitor the condition of the propeller filing down any damaged parts to soften sharp points, and remove any fishing line that has been caught (again preventing more costly, significant damage should water find it’s way into your gearbox).
- It is advisable to book in for regular engine servicing with a specialist, but simple checks to review yourself include checking the engine oil level and colour. It is also essential that you flush the engine after each cruise with clean water (the importance of which cannot be emphasised enough), to prevent corrosion caused by the build-up of salt which can damage the engine itself and block the cooling systems (which can lead to further engine damage).
- Check fuel levels and consider carrying a reserve tank. Fuel consumption varies considerably depending on weather conditions, so extra fuel never goes amiss on a particularly windy or rough day at sea.
- Cover your RIB to prevent further dampness caused by rain, but with a cover made from a fabric which still allows air circulation so you’re boat can continue to dry out. If your boat is safely stowed away inside, consider using a dehumidifier to help the drying process and remember to also rinse off seat covers and re-lubricate zips.
Likewise, ensuring you have an adequate toolkit and that the equipment you carry is in working order is essential for a safe and trouble-free boating expedition. To find out what you should be carrying on board then read our blog.
It is also vital that you keep your trailer maintained. Towing your RIB is something many of us take of granted, but it isn’t worth risking your pride and joy for the sake of forgetting to replace an inexpensive breakaway cable. Your trailer brakes are just as susceptible to saltwater damage as elements on the boat, so be sure to also rinse off the brakes with freshwater to prevent these seizing up. Flushing kits are available to take the strain out of this job, but aren’t essential. You may also want to consider using lubricant to ensure all connections remain flexible. not forgetting the grease nipple on the wheel hubs.
Looking for somewhere new to explore with your RIB? Check out our eBook A guide to RIB cruise routes
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Topics - RIB