A great way to cool off in the summer is to go to the lake or take a beach vacation. All boat owners are aware of the countless benefits of having a boat. However, you can’t have fun without a little hard work. Performing regular boat maintenance and checking the status of various parts and electronics will ensure a wonderful day on the water when you take your boat out for the first time since last year.
Before you even think about going on the water, there are a number of things to check and maintain on your boat. You should always put safety over a quick, temporary fix. Running through this list will prevent a bad day at the lake and an expensive mechanic bill.
- Take a look at the engine. Are there any loose or cracked cables? Does anything appear to be leaking? Scheduling a tune-up is always a good idea before putting your boat on the water.
- If you haven’t replaced your water pump impeller in the last 3 years, you’re probably due for one.
- Watch out for stiff or rotted rubber hoses. Multiple freezes and thaws can do a number on rubber. You’re wanting everything to be soft and flexible.
- If you’ve taken out the drain plug while getting winter-ready last year, don’t forget to re-install it. You definitely don’t want an unwelcome surprise when you finally get on the water.
- Change out the oil and gas. Clean out the distributor. Performing regular maintenance will keep your boat running smooth and prevent major problems from occurring at the worst possible time (like when you’re out in the middle of the ocean).
- Take out the prop and grease the shaft. Make sure no fishing line is tangled in the prop.
- Check your battery to make sure it’s working properly. Most boat batteries need to be replaced every 3-5 years.
- Check these parts for damages/decay: 1- The propeller 2- The lines and bumpers
- Check the date on your flares and fire extinguisher
- Make sure your registration and boating license are up-to-date and where they’re supposed to be.
- Give the boat a full cleaning.
* Encore Coatings has well-reviewed marine-focused products that are perfect for rust prevention and removal. Take steps to keep your boat beautiful and durable so that you can enjoy summers for years to come.
* MiracleMist® is an excellent product to use when it comes to the interior of your boat. The brand has various cleaning solutions for long-term protection and mold & mildew stain removal.
After you’ve completed your prep-checklist, it’s time to take your boat out on the water. There’s still a few things to check before you’re ready to ride and relax on the waves, though. Don’t worry, the list isn’t long.
- Check the electrical system to ensure everything is working properly– gauges, depth finder, radar, lights, radio, speakers, horn.
- Make sure you have enough life jackets for all your passengers, and that they are in good condition.
- Fire up the engine and do a final check while you are alone on the boat. Look, listen, and smell for anything out of the ordinary. Keep the engine running for a few minutes while you do this final check. If there is a problem, immediately cut off the engine and investigate the problem in a manner that won’t put you in harm’s way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to leave repairs to the professionals.
You’re all set now! Enjoy a refreshing summer on the water with your family and friends without having to worry about issues with your boat. It may take extra time to run all of these checks, but they are well worth it when future you is getting some sun and enjoying your day on a reliable, well-maintained boat. Get out there on the water and enjoy your summer!