With warmer days ahead, make sure your boat is ready to go when you are. It's a little early still, but spring is a good time to check your boat and engine service manual for specifics. If you’re uncertain what to do, get professional assistance.
Here's an overview of what to do to make sure your boat is shipshape for summer:
- Check the general condition of the hull and apply a coat of wax. If the boat is moored year-round, recoat the bottom paint if necessary.
- Lubricate steering and shift linkage.
- Tune the engine – change oil and filters.
- Check the coolant level in freshwater-cooled motors and test for proper mixture.
- Flush the potable water system.
- Check all ignition and secondary wiring for wear.
- Check all safety equipment and life vests.
- Ensure all electronic equipment is operating properly.
- Check mooring lines.
If you don’t already have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector on your boat, get one – especially if your boat has an enclosed cabin. Inspect the exhaust system for leaks. CO, a byproduct of incomplete fuel combustion, is one of the most common causes of fatal poisoning.
With just a little preventive care, your boat can weather the seasons and provide you and your family with months of enjoyment. Be sure to give it care and attention through the year – we have a checklist for off-season boat maintenance that can help.