The sun is beating, the kids are out of school, the weekend is approaching and all you need to do now is finish prepping the boat for a summer on the water. Here are a few simple steps to avoid headaches and make the road between your boat and the water shorter:
01. GRAB THAT OWNERS MANUAL
If this is your first time and you do not know what you’re doing, then you’ll probably need to grab that manual. Even if you think google has all the answers!
02. CHECK BATTERY
The typical battery life for a boat is 4-5 years. You should refill the battery with fresh distilled water and then check the charge. If the battery still holds a decently strong charge, you’re in good shape and can move on to the next step!
03. TEST ELECTRONICS
Test all the knobs, switches and electrical equipment on the boat. Flip the switches on the helm and cabin, being sure not to skip even the most insignificant one, because all electrical systems are connected. Now that the battery is running, switch it off and check the automatic bilge pump float switch works as well.
04. CHANGE ENGINE OIL
Properly checking the engine is key in de-winterizing your boat. Make sure the oil levels are correct first. After this, make sure the power steering fluid levels are good, the coolant levels and there are not leaks below the engine area or visible cracks or wear in fuel lines.
05. COOLING SYSTEM
Hopefully you flush the cooling system before storing the boat, now it’s time to fill it back up with equal parts water and antifreeze. If you didn’t drain it before winter, be sure to drain it now and then fill it. Again, Check for cracks and leakage.
06. MAKE SURE SAFETY GEAR IS ACCOUNTED FOR
This is definitely one of, if not THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP to making sure your boat is ready for the season. Make sure everything is in good condition and accounted for.
07. CHECK BELTS
The belts that connect the motors and engines can wear quickly during the off-season, use your hands to check for tears in the fibers. Push down and check for too much slack as well, lastly make sure there is no black soot. If so, it’s time to switch out your belt for new ones.
08. WHAT ARE YOU DOING STILL READING!
The time has come! Your boat is ready! Sunburns are waiting! GET ON THE WATER!