Boats might seem like a luxury, but there are over 11 million registered boats in the United States. Depending on where you live, the weather may not always allow you to use your boat. For that reason, many boat owners place their boats in storage over the winter and pull them out during the spring.
If your boat has been in boat storage for a while, you’ll want to make sure that it’s water ready before you take it for a spin. What do you need to do, exactly? Read on for a complete boating checklist!
Check for Damage
No matter how carefully you prep your boat for storage before winter hits, it’s possible that something may have happened to it while you were away. That’s why the first thing for you to check on your boat is for damage.
Start by looking at the hull of the boat to inspect for things like cracks, blistering, or warping. If you notice any of these, then you need to have them repaired before you take your boat out on the water.
Next, check the propeller for dings, cracks, or pitting. Any of these items have the potential to cause vibrations that would damage the bearings or seals on your boat. Finally, put the drain plug back in!
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Test the Battery
Just like your car, your boat has a battery, and extended periods of storage might impact the charge on the battery. Start by charging up the battery, if it isn’t already charged. Then, come back and inspect it later to make sure that the battery is still holding a charge.
If your battery isn’t functioning properly, then you need to replace it.
Check the Systems
There are a number of different systems that help make your boat run. If you haven’t used your boat in a long time, then you need to inspect them to make sure they’re still functional. First, check the fuel system to ensure that hoses, connections, and tank surfaces aren’t leaking and are in good condition.
Next, look at the electrical system to ensure that the electrical connections are still tight and that the terminals and cables aren’t showing signs of corrosion. As an added step, consider greasing the terminals.
Finally, look over the fuel system and the belts, cables, and hoses. Change the engine oil and filter if this wasn’t done before you stored the boat for winter. Top off any fluids that might be low, like power steering fluid or coolant.
Follow this Boating Checklist for a Fantastic Excursion!
Owning your own boat is a wonderful thing, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility for things like boat maintenance. Thankfully, by following the items on this boating checklist, you’ll have peace of mind that your boat is ready to safely head out of the harbor. Get ready for a summer full of days on the water!
Do you want to learn more about preparing a boat for water and boat storage? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for tons of tips about boating!