Tips for Preparing Your Boat for Spring
Spring is here and that means it’s time to get the boat back on the water. Gone are the days of your vessel sitting in storage; it’s time to de-winterize and prepare for the season ahead.
Go through this checklist to ensure that your boat is ready for all of your adventures.
- Inspect your fuel hoses, connections, and tank systems for leaks and damages. Damaged hoses will be soft, brittle, and/or cracking.
- Replace damaged parts
- Ensure all connections are properly fitted
- Check your engine, exhaust, and ventilation systems for proper performance.
- Ensure there’s no water in the fuel filters
- Fill your tank with fuel, but only use the highest quality fuel available. Fuel with more than 10% ethanol will damage your engine.
- Charge, test, and reinstall batteries
- Clean terminals and cable ends with a wire brush
- Check for loose, disconnected, or corroded conductors
- Test all cabin and helm switches for proper function
- Test headlights and cabin lights
- All electrical systems should have regular inspections done by qualified technicians.
- Flush out antifreeze first
- Connect pump and flush water lines
- Disinfect water system
- Pressurize the system
- Turn each faucet on until clean water is flowing
- Check engine oil, power steering, power trim reservoirs, and coolant levels
- Inspect the bilge for fluid leaks
- Change engine oil and oil filters if not done during winterization
- Inspect all fuel lines for cracking and flexibility
- Check for excess water in bilge
Propellers and Hulls
- Inspect propellers for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion
- Ensure the propeller is properly secured
- Replace bearings if needed
- Look for blisters, distortions & cracks in hull
- Clean hull, deck, & topsides with an environmentally safe cleaning solution
- Check that the drain plug is securely in place before every launch
- Ensure life jackets are in working condition
- Check for the correct number and sizes of life jackets for the people on board
- Check that fire extinguishers are fully charged, in place, and the correct class for your boat
- Check carbon monoxide detectors for any enclosed/semi enclosed areas
- Repair and restock any flares, first-aid kits, and other safety items
- Ensure your EPIRB is functioning properly
It’s always a good idea to check your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines to ensure that your boat is water-ready. Check the US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and US Power Squadrons’ to keep up with safety inspections.
Time to get that boat back on the water!
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