Your boat’s been idle and in dry storage for the last half of the year and now it’s time to gas it up and get it prepared for warmer weather!
Check out these five tips for getting your boat launch ready and your trailer ready for its first trip of the summer. Then, have a fantastic season enjoying your favorite on-the-water activity from fishing to waterskiing!
Test the Boat Battery
For starting the engine, powering water pumps, and much more, a lot of boat components rely on the battery to function. If your boat’s battery was in good condition and you stored it in a safe dry place, it should operate just fine come summertime. Even so, checking and testing it before you’re on the water is a good precaution to take.
Take the time to make sure the battery’s terminals are free of any corrosion and use a DC voltmeter to evaluate if you have the proper voltage (12.5 volts). If your boat’s battery has been good to you for several seasons, take it to a marine technician to test its ability to hold a charge prior to getting out on the water.
One of the best things you can do going into boat storage season is put your boat away with its fluids in good condition, including adding a fuel stabilizer to protect your boat’s fuel tank through to the spring and summer season, that way you don’t need to drain the tank.
It’s a good idea to check all fluid levels now including the oil level, gas level, coolant, etc. If you suspect a leak, bring your boat to your local marine technician.
Prep Boat Tags and Registration
Though not a mechanically integrated part of your boat, making sure that both your boat and trailer are properly registered is just as important to a safe and successful season out on the water. In Pennsylvania, boat registrations are valid for 2 years and renewal can be completed either online or by mail.
Inventory Onboard Safety Items & Systems
The pre-season is also a great time to take stock of safety devices and systems on board your vessel and make sure everything is in order. Confirm that you have enough life jackets in the proper weight classes for yourself, first in command, and any others who will be joining you on your boating adventures.
Double check that flares and fire extinguishers are in-date and perform the self-test on your EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) if equipped.
Check Boat Trailer Essentials
Before you head to Ocean City or Cape May, make sure that your trailer is ready to securely bring your boat along. Each year check boat trailer tires, wheel bearings, rollers, and sliding banks!
Check Boat Trailer Lights
Possibly the most troublesome system on a boat trailer is the exterior lighting. Link lights to your car or SUV that will tow your boat and then thoroughly test turn signals, brake lights, and active lights before your first voyage to the water. It’s a good idea to have spare bulbs for these lights handy in case you need to use them over the course of the season.
Now, You’re Water Ready
With these tips in mind, you’ll be prepared to head to the beach, bay, or lake in no time. We wish you a safe and fun summer full of marine adventures!
If you’re interested in learning more about what it takes to become a Marine Service Technician, check out this page and schedule a tour of our Warminster, PA, campus.