How To Get Your Boat Ready For Spring
How To Get Your Boat Ready For Spring?
In the spring, as the snow melts and the ice thaws, we start to awaken from our long winter’s nap. As we clean off our cars and shovel out our driveways, we want to get back on the water and boat around as we did in the summer and fall. For us boaters, this means getting all of our gear together and prepping our boat for the next elements.
1. Check The Battery
The first things to do are check your battery make sure it is good and charged up; if not, get a new one or take it to be recharged. If the battery needs to be replaced, then consider it replacing as well. Check the terminals of the battery too for the rusting because if the battery isn’t used for far too long, rusting can occur.
2. Fuel up the Tank
Next, make sure you have enough fuel in the Tank. If this is your primary mode of transportation, you want to make sure you don’t run out of gas when you are in the boat. Fill it up, so you have enough fuel for however long you are using your boat this year.
3. Fuel Treatments
If you’re not familiar with Fuel Treatments, they help keep the fuel fresh in your Tank, making sure that moisture doesn’t invade your engine and corrode it, which can cause rusting of components and other problems.
4. Wash the Boat
A good idea to wash your boat with a gentle soap solution that won’t damage the finishes on the boat. Wipe down all metal surfaces, wipe off any corrosion on your batteries, make sure they are clean as well; anything you may have gotten dirty over the winter needs to be cleaned off. If you haven’t used your boat for an extended period of time and it was stored outside, then the wax on there will help protect the finishes and make them easier to clean up in the spring, so there is no need to apply any extra wax just yet.
5. Tie Down Loose Items
As we get underway, we make sure everything is tied down securely for the next journey. Any items that weren’t stowed away from last winter should be stowed now to avoid them from flying around inside your boat, rattling around and breaking anything else, or causing any other damage.
6. Replace All Hoses Fittings
Every year you should replace all hoses and fittings, including the ones around your bilge pump. Inspect them for any cracks or other damage that would need to be replaced. If there is, then it should be taken care of right away, so you don’t run into any issues down the road this summer.
7. Wipe Down Vinyl Plastic
If you have any vinyl plastics on your boat, all the decals and any other vinyl plastic surfaces, wipe it down with a mild dish soap solution. You can use 409 or Dawn if you have that now. Just mix it in water and then give it a good cleaning to remove anything stuck onto the surface, so they are clean for your next outing this spring.
8. Inspect the Trim
Inspect all your trim pieces. Make sure they are tight, clean them up if any of them have grease or oil on them from use over the winter. Check to make sure nothing needs cables re-tightened, tighten it up and add some lubricant to give everything a fresh start this year.
9. Do a Complete Safety Check
Make sure after doing all these things that you do a full safety check of your boat. Make sure the lights are all working; this includes running / navigation lights, marker lights and even the bilge pump, so if anything ever happens, you’ll be prepared for it if it does spring up.
10. Change the Oil if Needed
If you have an oil change scheduled with your boat, then now is a good time to do it. This is especially true if you had the boat out in the saltwater over the winter. If this is the case, you want to make sure that all of that saltwater gets flushed from our engine and not left sitting there because then it can cause rust to start.
Oil Changes are an Important Task that shouldn’t be overlooked because it helps your boat perform better and keep the whole engine in good working order for you. Especially if you’re someone who uses their boat a lot throughout the summer months, then this task is super important because otherwise, your engine will stop performing as well as it should and could even cause damage to the engine if it’s left for too long.
11. Check the Engine and Propeller
If you have an outboard engine, then now is a good time to remove the propeller and give it a quick cleaning. This will ensure that all of the saltwater used over the winter is removed from your propeller, so there’s no corrosion on it.
12. Check Your Trim Tab Controls
This is also a good time to check your trim tab controls and make sure they are clean as well. This ensures the boat runs properly through the water, and you don’t lose any speed or performance because of anything that’s corroded.
13. Replace spark plugs
If you have a carbureted engine, then now is also a good time to replace your spark plugs with new ones. This ensures your engine can perform at its peak, and it will also help with your fuel mileage as well.
14. Check the Fuel Lines for Rust or Corrosion
If you had any saltwater exposure to your boat, then you want to make sure that all of that gets flushed out of the fuel lines, so they are clean before summer comes around this year. You can use fresh water to help dissolve any saltwater properly and flush it out of the fuel lines before you even start your boat up. This ensures no damage will be done to your engine because corrosion will happen over time if this isn’t flushed properly, so make sure you do it right.
You have to remember that your boat went through a lot over the winter; even if you only used it every once in a while, then this is especially important because what happens is all of that saltwater getting into everything over time will start corroding away parts of the metal. This means rust will form and not just on the outside but inside as well. So be sure to flush it well, so all of the saltwater is removed and make sure you get rid of any rust on there as well. This will ensure your boat runs better this year because the parts are clean.