Owning a boat requires a lot of time and energy, especially when it comes to maintenance. Besides your home, your boat may be your biggest investment, which means you want to avoid anything that would undermine its value. If you prefer to take care of your boat maintenance for yourself, you're probably going to spend a considerable amount of time in the boatyard. Boatyards are like do-it-yourself automotive repair yards, only you'll be working on your boat, instead of your car. If you've never visited a boatyard before, you'll want to be prepared for the experience. Boatyard managers, and fellow boat owners, take the boatyard very seriously. Here are four tips that will help you avoid problems while you're working on your boat.

Always Bring Your Own Tools

When it comes to working on your boat in a boatyard, you should always bring your own tools. Marine tools are quite costly, so most boat owners, and boatyard managers, are not usually willing to loan them out. To avoid problems, always show up to work with your own tools. If you're not sure what tools you'll need for your current project, ask a fellow boat owner. They'll be happy to provide you with a list of recommended tools.

Always Use a Dustless Sander

If you're going to be sanding your boat, don't start the project unless you have a dustless sander. Loose dust in a boatyard can spell disaster for a couple of reasons. First, loose dust can get into the motors of nearby boats, which can cause serious problems, especially if the dust gets into the engine fluids. Second, if other boat owners are painting their boats while you're sanding, the dust can get into the fresh paint and ruin the finish. To avoid these problems, always use a dustless sander.

Never Park in Unauthorized Stalls

Once you have your boat dry-docked at the boatyard, you'll probably be coming and going each day until you get the work completed. It's important to remember that you should never park your vehicles in unauthorized stalls. Doing so could put you at risk for injury, or put your car at risk for damage. To protect yourself, and your car, always park in properly marked parking stalls.

Never Dispose of Hazardous Waste Irresponsibly

If you're going to be working with hazardous materials during your project, never dispose of the waste irresponsibly, even if you're in a hurry. Cleaning solvents, paint, and even motor fluids, all have specific areas for disposal. If you're not sure where to dispose of your hazardous waste, ask the boatyard manager. You'll keep the boatyard clean, and hazard-free for everyone around you. Contact a marina, like South Park Marina, for more help.