Tips for Proper Boat Maintenance in Arizona

If you made the smart decision to buy a boat to beat the heat in Arizona, you need to know how to best protect your valuable investment. When it comes to proper maintenance for your boat, you need to cover these areas: the engine, hull and topsides, plumbing, electrical systems, upholstery, hinges/tracks, and HVAC systems (if applicable).   

Here’s a breakdown of the main points when it comes to properly caring for your boat to keep it in tip-top shape for when you need it most in the sunny southwestern state!

Clean/Wax

What is likely the most simple chore item on this list is also one that has a bigger impact than you may think. In the interior, neglecting the upholstery will lead to caked on dirt and debris, which causes mold and mildew growth. On the exterior, the fiberglass gel coat will oxidize, and the grime can actually cause damage to the pumps, drains, hinges, and other moving parts if you don’t wash and wax it regularly – which leads us to our next point… 

Take the first part of Mr. Miyagi’s advice, and “wax on” at least twice per year! If resale value is a main factor for you, this step will especially help. On that note, did you know boat sales went full steam ahead in the year 2020, with the pandemic? 

Flush

After taking the boat out in not just saltwater but freshwater too, don’t forget to flush out the outboard motor. NOTE: To do so, first turn on the boat ignition, but remember to never start the motor without it being in water or being connected to a hose. Follow your specific engine manufacturer’s recommendations for best results. For instance, inboard boat motor maintenance is different, but some stern-drive boats could have similar flushing processes. 

While flushing the motor, a good tip is to also check the water pump’s water flow. If the output feels too strong over your hand, shut off the engine and check for debris in the outflow tube. Do so by inserting a small wire in the tube. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to look into a new water pump.  

Inspect

Regularly perform your own thorough inspection of all the main parts previously mentioned. Whether you schedule it with a professional or are well-versed, keep up with the following annual maintenance items: changing oil, lubricating fittings, and painting the bottom of the hull. For more advanced work on powerboats or personal watercrafts (PWCs), ensure you take it in annually for engine maintenance, fuel filter change, gearcase lubricant change, and professional inspections of the propeller and the trim/tilt and steering systems. 

If you have a portable generator, don’t neglect it. If not cared for, onboard gasoline generators run the risks of shorting out, overheating, leaking fuel, or even emitting carbon monoxide.

Protect

On a similar note with inspecting and cleaning your boat properly, it is highly important to practice safety measures to avoid transporting aquatic invasive species from one body of water to another. If not handled appropriately, mussel contamination and other invasive species can destructively hitchhike on boats, and even compromise an entire lake.    

According to the Forest Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bodies of water known to contain quagga mussels include Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Havasu, and the Colorado River Drainage below these lakes. So, if you’re leaving a lake known to be infected, immediately secure your watercraft to the trailer and take it to the designated boat inspection and cleaning station. If the water is not known to be an issue, you should still perform an inspection for mussels, mud and plants; drain all water from the boat; and dispose of any unused bait. For more detailed information on how to protect against invasive species, refer to this article.      

Store

Last but certainly not least, you can take very good care of your vessel but if it’s not stored in a safe place, it would all be for naught. One advantage to keeping a boat in Arizona is that it won’t need to be “winterized” for off-season storage as it would in a cold climate. However you still need to dedicate a decent amount of time to research its “home” for when you’re not enjoying it. Realize not all storage facilities are created equally.

Booking a covered space in a facility is not just a plus – it’s practically a necessity in Arizona as it is the No. 1 sunniest state in the U.S. Aside from the UV ray damage, it’s also important to prioritize security. Ameripark Covered Storage in Tucson doesn’t cut corners when it comes to security cameras and monitored access. In addition to these benefits, it also offers convenient 24/7 access and automated payment options. Check out our 8 Boat Storage Tips for important steps to take when you do store it.   

Call us at (520) 833-8016, or click to reserve your boat storage now!   


Although the majority of watercrafts today are considered relatively low maintenance, you still need to keep up with proper boat maintenance. These tips should help when it comes to owning a boat in Arizona’s climate specifically. Practice safe seas! 


This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for recommendations or services provided by a licensed professional.

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