How to get your boat ready for a new season!
It’s a pretty day today and all I can think of is how close spring and summer are. Now is the time to get your boat prepped, so when that first warm day hits you are ready.
We all love our boats and we like to work on them ourselves. A boat is an investment and it needs attention and upkeep to stay in shape.
In Florida, we still need to winterize our boats. When spring is around the corner, we need to de-winterize them. Part of that is inspecting not only the boat, but the trailer as well.
Let’s start with the engine. If it wasn’t changed before the winter, change the engine oil and oil filter. Check the out-drive oil as well. (How to perform an annual service on your Yamaha Outboard)
Let’s move on to the battery. Make sure the posts and terminals are clear of corrosion. Water in your battery? Make sure it’s full. When it’s dry, it is no longer good. Test the battery amps and volts. No good? Change the battery.
Move on to the cooling system. Hopefully you drained it as part of your winterization, because now it’s time to fill it up. Please make sure you check the hoses for cracks and empty out the strainer. When is the last time you changed your impeller?
As part of your winterization, you should have filled up your gas tank and added Stabil. This is to prevent moisture. Change the fuel filter and check all lines for cracks.
Clean out the distributor. In order to do this, you will need to take the cap off. After cleaning, make sure the connections are hooked back up completely.
I’m sure you already thought of this, but be sure to check all of the boats’ belts. If any belt is loose, change it. To check if a belt is worn out, push on it. It should have some give, but not much. Be sure to check the alternator belt. This one tends to go before the rest.
Is your boat on a trailer? Here’s a punch list to check and/or do:
Trailer Registration up to date?
Check the rollers and pads. You don’t want to scratch the gelcoat.
Check and lubricate winch
Lubricate tongue jack and wheel
Test lights and electrical connections
Check brakes, safety chains, tire pressure and condition, and tongue lock
Grease wheel bearings (Trailer Maintenance: How to service your wheel bearings)
Take a walk around the hull and look for items that need attention. Do a complete systems check to include the following. Check the hull for abrasions, scratches, gouges, etc… . Catch and repair these before they turn into a big expensive repair. Check the swim platform and/or ladder. Check the rub rail, inspect and test the trim tabs. Check your bilge pumps to make sure they are working properly.
Is your registration up to date and on board? How about the Coast Guard kit? Bow lights?
Give her a good clean and wax. Pay attention to the details. Oil the wood, scrub the canvas, polish the metal. Get in every nook and cranny. How to remove scratches from your gelcoat.
When it comes to your boat, don’t take any shortcuts. Use the best parts and fluids. Time and time again we hear of a buddy who broke down because of a small inexpensive part.
When you take the time to prep you insure a safe and fun season in your boat. Now get out there and have fun!
Jeff Evetts is the Assistant Service Manager at Sunrise Marine. He has over 17 years experience in the marine industry, 10 of those years with Sunrise Marine.
To reach Jeff call 850.243.0414.