Boat season is here, and it’s time to get your boat prepared. To make your first launch of the season an easy, safe and uneventful one, we have put together the following list of tasks before you put your boat in the water.
- Make sure your registration is up to date, and your boat insurance has been purchased or renewed. Protecting your investment is always a good idea for you and your family.
- Do a walk-around of your boat. Check for any damage to the propellers including dings, cracks, or out of alignment. Not only could that cause a problem for your drive train but it will impact your gas mileage as well.
- Check the hull for chipping, peeling or blistering. If everything looks good, give your boat a good washing.
- Get your engine ready by changing the fuel and oil filters, and change the oil. You may want to put some additive in your gas tank to remove any moisture that has gotten in during its winter hibernation and then fill it up with gas.
- Check fittings and lubricate where needed.
- Check hoses, cables, and belts making sure they are tight and not brittle, which can happen during the winter months.
- Make sure your battery is charged. Just like a car battery, you can take it to most any auto parts store and they will check the charge. It is always a good idea to check your connections and clean them with a wire brush.
- Check the plugs and their fittings to be certain it is secure, not cracked or loose. Check the plug by backing off the tension and checking to be sure the center pin inside the rubber is not deteriorated.
- Check the rubber boots for deterioration.
- When was the last time you changed the water pump impeller?
- Check your life jackets. The U.S. Coast Guard requires there be a life jacket for every person on board and it should be in good condition. Check their buoyancy, and if there are leaks and cracks, you need to purchase new life jackets to keep everyone safe.
- Make sure you have fire extinguishers and medical kit.
- Check your trailer, trailer-hitch.
By doing these basic tasks, we hope you will have the enjoyable and safe boating experience you’ve been planning all winter.