Summer has finally arrived and is calling your boat out on the water. Many boaters perform annual checks by the season to ensure proper boat maintenance. Here are some tips on how to get your boat ready for Summer. Remember to follow your manufacturer recommendations and guidelines.
Examine for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion. Damaged propellers can destroy your drive train. Make sure the propeller is protected properly, and change bearings when necessary.
If your boat travels by sail, check fabric for wear, decay or other damage. Check masts, pulleys and rigging for impairment or extreme wear. Repair or change as needed.
Engine & Drive-train
If you didn’t do this during the Winterization process then, replace the engine oil, oil filter and outdrive lubricants. Check your boat’s oil, power steering, power trim, battery water and coolant levels. Likewise, check spark plugs and wiring for signs of extreme wear or damage. Make sure you have spare bulbs and fuses on hand, in case of emergency.
Corrosion is a sign a connection may not be safe. Examine all connections for cleanliness and tightness. To organize electrical connections for the summer, remove the terminals and use a wire brush to clean them, along with all cable ends. Exam your battery to make sure it can keep a charge. Also check components such as the radio, GPS, compass, depth finder and all additional marine electronics.
Go over the exterior and interior for any noticeable damage. Be sure to use nontoxic cleaning solutions that are recommended for boats. This is a good opportunity, while cleaning, to take note of any visible wear and tear.
Examine for rips or damage and pay special attention to hoses, connections and tank surfaces. Change worn or damaged components and confirm all fittings and clamps are correctly secured. Be sure the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems are all functioning properly.
Belts, Cables, & Hoses
Worn belts can become fragile and crack during storage. Check belts to make sure they fit securely around pulleys (tension). Check control cables for cracks or bulges. This could indicate that they need to be changed.