When you invest a significant amount of money to purchase an item for personal use, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure it stays protected. While the U.S. consumer electronics market was worth $301 billion last year, you can bet that most of us use screen protectors, heavy-duty cases, back-up drives, and surge protection to keep our devices and data safe.

While you may use your boat less frequently than your smartphone, you’re probably just as serious about keeping it protected. And while there are a number of advanced techniques you can use to embrace ground fault protection for boats in the marina or to safeguard your vessel during use, it doesn’t always have to be overly complicated. Here are a few simple steps you can take to preserve your vessel for the long haul.

  • Paint, Clean, and Dry: Some of the most basic rules for boat maintenance include proper painting, cleaning, and drying. While these methods might sound obvious, they act as the boat’s first defense against rust and other deteriorating elements. You should paint aluminum boats, particularly around the bottom and a bit past the waterline on both sides, to prevent the chemical reactions that lead to galvanic corrosion. Your boat should be cleaned off, especially if you venture out into saltwater, after use for the same reason. Make sure to dry off the inside of your boat to prevent corrosion, as well.
  • Limit Corrosive Contact: When cleaning and using your boat, you should make sure to limit any direct contact with other metals. Contact with metal hardware and even other boats can make your own watercraft deteriorate more quickly. In addition, you should be sure to use only products that are recommended for your type of boat; if you’re using cleaning products, paint, grease, or lubricant, make sure that it’s safe to use to prevent damage.
  • Use Marine Isolation Transformers: Although marine isolation transformers are meant to transfer power for boats from the source to a device to promote increased safety, these marine-puck products can also be used to protect the vessel from deterioration when docked. When your boat is at the marina, you can hook up marine isolation transformers to shore power while eliminating the possibility of galvanic corrosion caused by currents that run through the ground connection. Using a transformer is an easy way to promote protection in a multitude of ways.

Before you start taking your boat out for the season, you’ll want to review these tips to prevent damage. By being proactive, you can keep your vessel safe from deterioration and keep maintenance costs down — all while enjoying the use of your watercraft.