Whether you’re heading up to the Poconos to angle for trout on Arrowhead Lake or going east to the Atlantic City beaches to soak up the sun while out on the water, boating season is here in all it’s glory and we can’t wait to feel that maritime breeze.
Before you do, though, there’s a few items you’ll need to take care of to ensure it’s trouble-free running this spring and summer. Read Automotive Training Center’s springtime boating checklist below to make sure you’re prepared!
The Universal Rule: Check Boat Batteries
Many of your boat’s functions are electrical in nature, so making sure that batteries onboard made it through the cold season clean, dry, and corrosion-free is key. Charge, then test the charge of each battery, tighten connection points, and remove any corrosion present.
Check, Change, or Top Off All Fluids
The fluids that travel through your boat’s inner mechanics keep everything running at peak efficiency. You’ll want to check that all fluids are to the fill line before leaving shore. Also, if you haven’t had your boat’s engine oil and filter swapped out since last season, be sure to get that taken care of at this time.
Inspect Belts and Hoses
Cold temps can wreak havoc on your boat’s rubber belts, hoses, and cables. To make sure that everything’s in good working order, take a close look at each of these components, watching for any inconsistencies in the texture or prevalent cracking.
Prepare Your Propeller
Your propeller has a big job, and even the slightest ding or nick could negatively impact your drivetrain’s overall performance. Take a few minutes to make sure you’re starting each launch off with a properly secured, clean, and smooth propeller, and you’ll reap the benefits with every adventure.
Check and Clean the Hull
Check the hull and topsides of the boat for surface damage, repairing where needed. Then, use a cleaner that’s formulated for use on a boat and environmentally friendly, to give the exterior of your boat a good scrub-down.
Check All Lights
You wouldn’t want to be out at sea, heading toward dark to find that you have multiple burnt-out bulbs onboard. Test all lights before you’ll be needing to use them, replace burnt out bulbs, and stock up a few extra key lights to keep onboard.
Ready the Season’s Safety Gear
While you’re inspecting different elements on your boat to make sure they’re water-ready, you should always keep safety top of mind. Inventory life jackets and make sure that you have one for each resident boat rider that you know will be onboard this season, as well as a few extras for guests. You’ll want to take stock of fire extinguishers, flares, and carbon monoxide alarms at this time, too.
Once you get these checklist items taken care of, you’ll be well on your way to being water-ready this boating season. We wish you a safe, fun, and rewarding time out on the water this year—and if you have a passion for your boating pastime, you can spend more than just the spring testing and maintaining a boat’s components. Learn more about our Marine Service Technology Program here.