Houseboat Maintenance Checklist


Smooth sailing is ahead — if you use our houseboat maintenance checklist! As you prepare your houseboat for spring and summer sailing, make sure to keep our list handy.

  • What do you need to buy to restock from last year? Make a list.
  • Know your water. Saltwater is tougher on your boat than fresh. If you are sailing in both salt and fresh, be sure to care for your boat accordingly.
  • What kind of houseboat do you have? Wooden, fiberglass, or a combination of materials? Again, care for your boat accordingly. Wooden boats should be checked often for rot and will need varnishing and oiling often. Fiberglass needs to be washed and waxed regularly.
  • Check your gas and diesel level – it’s no fun getting stranded!
  • Do you have a generator? Check that it is in working order.
  • Check through-hulls for any leaks.
  • Wash your boat often, especially if it has been in saltwater. We recommend using a marine boat wash and a soft-bristle boat brush. Bottom paint needs to be applied every few years to prevent bottom growth. It’s also a good idea to hire divers to scrub the hull periodically.
  • Check often for chips and cracks along the boat and fix them immediately. It’s alarming how quickly a small crack can turn into a big problem.
  • Have a sewage plan. No one likes thinking about sewage, but a little forethought can save you from a big stink. It is illegal to dump sewage into rivers, lakes, and oceans, so it is good to know ahead of time where and when you will be pumping your waste. And make sure everyone on board knows that feminine products cannot be flushed.
  • Never use isopropyl on the roof of your boat to clean it. It will break down the layers of your roof, causing you to have to replace your roof much sooner than usual.
  • Only use recommended and verified maintenance products to clean and maintain your houseboat.
  • Clean your deck with an approved product, allow the deck to dry, and then apply wax and non-slip coating.
  • You should generally change the oil on your boat every 100 hours of operation or once a year.
  • Check the propellor for discarded fishing lines, nicks, dents, or other damage. A damaged propeller often vibrates, putting stress on bearings and seals. Waterproof grease on the propellor shaft helps to prevent corrosion.

Finally, it’s time to talk about keeping your cabin cool when temperatures are sweltering outside. Stuart Pro is an expert at installing and maintaining HVAC systems in homes and boats of all sizes and shapes. If you have any questions or want us to take a look, schedule a free evaluation and estimate. For details about our houseboat HVAC service, click here.