As the ice melts and temperatures start to rise, we can’t help but look forward to summer days on the water. For many boaters, annual preparation and cleaning projects are necessary rites of spring that help prevent problems that could keep them off the water once the season is underway.
The following is a general guideline, check your owner’s manual for manufacturers recommendations or procedures specific to your boat.
*Remove shrink wrap, separate the wrap from the rope and dispose in the provided bin by June 1st.
- Inspect hoses, connections and tank surfaces for leaks or damage
- Replace components as needed
- Verify all fittings and clamps are properly secured
- Ensure the engine, exhaust, and ventilation systems are functioning properly
Belts, Cables and Hoses:
- Check for cracks and brittle areas
- Ensure belts fit tightly and are not worn
- Inspect the outer jacket of control cables for cracks or swells, which may indicate a problem
- Inspect all electrical connections for clean, tight, corrosion free connections. Corroded connections can be dangerous
- Remove corroded terminals and use a wire brush to clean them, along with all cable ends
- Charge your battery and have it tested to ensure it can hold a charge
- Electrical systems should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician
- Check all fluid levels including engine oil, power steering, power trim reservoirs and coolant.
- Be sure to change the engine oil, oil filter and drive lubricants if these tasks were not done prior to winterizing your boat.
Propellers and Hulls:
- Inspect propellers for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion
- Damaged propellers can cause unwanted vibration and damage to your drive train
- Make sure the propeller is secured properly, and replace bearings when needed
- When inspecting the hull, look for blisters, distortions and cracks. Be sure to clean the hull, deck, and topsides using an environmentally safe cleaning solution
- Also, make sure the drain plug is securely in place before every launch
- Check your life jackets to ensure they are in good condition and that there are enough on board for all potential passengers.
- Ensure that each individual has the correct size life jacket for their body weight.
- Be sure all onboard fire extinguishers are the correct class for your vessel, and are fully charged and stowed in the proper place.
- For any enclosed or semi-enclosed area, ensure you have at least one properly installed and working carbon monoxide detector
- Consider a membership with Canada Towboat or C-Tow for situations of distress to ensure you can be found