Is Your Boat summer-Ready?

It’s time to get your boat summer-ready.  If you haven’t already done so before Memorial Day weekend – the official kick off of boating season, you may be a little late to the game. However, being late is better than never! After a long, cold winter and even cool spring, it’s time to get your boat back in the water where it belongs. But before you set sail, here are some important tasks you will want to check off your list:

1. Check the Fuel, Oil, and Other Fluids
If you are one of those folks who change the fuel and oil before winterizing your boat, you’re a step ahead. But sitting in storage during the cold months can cause some issues with your boat. It’s still important to check the levels and quality of the fuel, engine oil, and fluid levels before putting your boat in the water. Be sure to make any necessary changes, which can include filling fluids to the appropriate operating levels, a filter change, or fuel additives.
2. Test Your Battery
Now is the time to charge your personal battery with some boating fun.  Before amping up your enjoyment, remember to charge or replace your boat battery too, depending on how long your boat has been in storage.
3. Time to Start Your Engine

No, it’s not an official race…but you will need to  rev up and look at the engine. After a clear physical inspection, run the engine and listen for any changes that could indicate a problem. If you suspect an issue, we recommend getting the boat examined at your local boat repair shop.  

4. Examine the Belts and Fuel Lines

Dry, cold conditions in the winter often cause  plastic or rubber tubing to become brittle and crack. Do a thorough visual inspection of all your fuel lines, cooling system hoses, connection clamps, and belts for any cracks or loss of elasticity. The slightest crack or dryness of lines or hoses indicate they will need to be replaced — something that should be done after a few seasons.  Make note of when you change the connections so you are aware of when you will need to do it next. Finally, check your fuel filter to ensure that it is clean and clear.  That may also need to be replaced periodically.

5. How’s the Hull?

Always check the body of the boat before putting it in the water. Make sure screws are secured and there are no obvious dents or dings to the body. Now is a good time to inspect for pest damage — you don’t want additional crew members along for the ride who could cause destruction to the boat.

6. Check the Propellers

Check the propellers for any visible damage, corrosion, or black residue from bad belts. Make sure there are no nicks or chips. Review the shape of the propellers by looking for irregular bends in the props.

7. Make It Squeaky Clean

Before setting sail for the season, clean off the boat, both inside and out. Start by cleaning the canvas cover itself. Wipe all vinyl and plastic surfaces inside the boat to give passengers a clean space. Hose off the outside of the boat and remove any buildup or staining.  

8. Polish and Wax

This step may not seem necessary but is a preventative tool for keeping your boat in ship shape. Polish and wax can save your boat from weathering by sealing any compromised surface from the effects of saltwater, wind, and corrosion. Make your boat shine for this year’s boating season.

9. Do a Trailer Check

Before you can take your boat anywhere, do a routine trailer check at the start of the season. Make sure the wires and attachments are up-to-code, tires are aired, the structure is sound, and all mechanisms are working properly. You want the trailer to help your boat, not hurt it.

10. Choose Safety First with the Proper Gear

Finally, before getting out on the water, make sure your boat is properly stocked with safety gear including  PFDs/life jackets, other flotation devices, flares, and radios. Check to determine if they are all operating properly. Before you put them on, check that they are in good shape and working, and replace them as necessary. 

Here’s an added bonus step — Be sure to know where you will dock.  Check out how you can rent a dock or list your dock on Dockshare today.

Checking off these relevant summer-ready steps will help you get your boat in the water quickly and efficiently so that you can start making warm-weather memories. We wish you a safe and happy boating season this year. See you out on the water.