Spring is here! Time to start thinking about uncovering your boat, and planning your adventures for the summer ahead.
As you begin this process, don’t forget to give your boat a checkup before the season gets underway! The last thing you want is to be stranded on your first day out on the water with the family.
Check those Fluids!
OIL – If you did not change the engine oil when you parked your boat for the winter, this would be the ideal time to change the oil and the oil filter.
COOLING – Depending on your climate, most people drain their cooling system to prevent any freezing problems, rinse it out and fill it back up. Check the hoses for wear or cracks in the lines.
FUEL –Many people will top off their tanks to prevent any moisture and condensation issues forming in the tank through the winter. It’s not fun to have to deal with condensation forming in the tank. Always refer to your boat’s maintenance guidebook for what is best for your vessel. Depending on how you chose to winterize, now could be a great time to change the fuel filter and make sure the hoses are all snug, with no cracks in the lines. Many climates can cause these lines to become brittle over time with changes in temperature over the seasons.
BATTERY – Check the terminals for corrosion, connect the cables and wipe everything clean. Top off the water if your battery takes water. If it’s dry, it most likely is bad. Check everything before you get to the docks.
BELTS – Check your belts and tighten and or replace any that look worn or brittle. The Alternator belt will usually wear faster than all the others.
While you are checking out those main systems, don’t forget to also check these commonly overlooked components: spark plugs, engine lubrication, hoses, power steering, bilge pump, drain plug, rudder and shafts, prop, horn, VHF radio, trim.
SAFTEY- Check the date on your fire extinguisher! Make sure you have your anchor. And lastly, it is always good to make sure your floatation devices onboard are in working condition.
All boats are different.
Always follow the instructions in your boat owner’s manual and consult a local boat mechanic.