With water ski boat prices on the rise, instead of buying their own rides, many skiers opt to enter into boat-sharing arrangements. While sharing a boat drastically curbs the cost of ownership, maintenance and repair issues can be a complicated headache. The best bet is to run a tight ship when it comes to keeping vessels in top shape. Here are a few of the most important guidelines.
Many Hands Lighten the Load
It’s vital to decide who oversees each element involved with maintenance. One group should be in charge of basic upkeep (oil changes), another for general cleaning, one for major weekly detailing and one to oversee nightly gassing. Whether the groups are large or small, it’s important that one person is not shouldering the load for the entire job.
Open the Lines of Communication
Too often, small problems go unreported, leading to larger problems down the road. Make sure all parties have an open line of communication to those responsible for each element of maintenance. You don’t want a bent prop to lead to a bent shaft or a tiny rattle to lead to a blown engine.
Maintenance Extends Beyond the Boat
It’s also important to keep your site as boat-friendly as possible. Be sure your docks are well-equipped with protective bumpers. (Not all drivers are as skilled as you.) Be sure any shallow areas are well marked, particularly on the ends of the lake or near turn islands.
Keep Parts Well-Stocked
The quickest way to grow dissent among is by having a downed boat. Make sure you’re well stocked with parts and supplies. Have spare props, radiator hoses, impellers, oil and filters on hand to ensure a minor issue does not keep your entire group dry for the day.
Flip Your Boat
You need to have a concrete plan concerning when and how you’ll upgrade your boat, such as a 500-hour exit strategy to ensure you always get top dollar when you sell and replace your boat.
Education Is Your Greatest Ally
It’s important all new drivers are well educated before being turned loose behind the wheel. Employ a driver education/certification system if necessary, and have an experienced driver teach newbies the nuances of your lake and course. Use an informal driver training period to supplement the national legal requirements before granting driving privileges.