Taking the time to prepare your boat for re-entry into the water every spring is well worth the effort. You don’t want to discover the engine won’t start after you’ve launched your boat into the water. Spring boat maintenance includes some simple steps that you can take to ensure when you hit the water you’ll be ready to go.
Before you do anything else (other than chasing the mice out of the boat) be sure to check the battery to make sure it has a good charge. Check the water level in the batteries. If they need more water add some distilled water. You want to be sure the battery is fully charged and holds that charge between trips. There are onboard battery chargers that you can purchase that will ensure your battery is always charged.
Did you leave gas in the tank through the winter? Not a good idea — but especially not of you’re using ethanol. Follow your manufacturers recommendation for fuel and fuel treatment systems to protect your engine. If you discover you have bad fuel sitting in the tank you should drain the tank and add new fuel.
The motor needs a close look. Be sure your fuel filters are clean and ready to go or replace them. Change the oil and lower unit fluids. Look the prop over to be sure there is no fishing line or other debris wrapped around it. If so, remove all of it for best performance.
Test your motor before arriving at the boat launch. Hook the motor up to a water hose or muffs and start the motor. Let it idle for a few minutes then try shifting it forward and in reverse to make sure it’s operating correctly.
Don’t overlook inspecting your trailer carefully. Be sure the brake lights and turn signals are all working. Make sure there is proper air in the trailer tires and add more if needed. Check the bunk boards, winch straps and anything else for any issues.
The boat accessories are just as important as the boat itself. Be sure the fire extinguisher onboard meets the state regulations and is charged. Stow life vests and a PFD that you can easily throw on the boat.
Once you’ve examined every inch of your boat you’re ready to hit the water. If you’ve encountered any issues when preparing your boat for it’s first venture out on the water after a winter of being stored, give us a call at Marine Service Center at 843-399-9283. We have a full service department that would be happy to help you deal with any issues you may have uncovered in record time.