Don’t Forget to Check Your Boat Insurance Policy
Boating enthusiasts across the northeast are chomping at the bit to get back out on the water.
Follow this simple checklist to ensure your watercraft is raring to go when the season rolls around.
1. Check the Hull for Cracks & Blisters
Examine the full hull of your boat for problem areas in need of patch-up or repainting. Repair dings and other damage and then wash/wax your boat. A proper waxing will protect your boat from the elements and improve efficiency as it glides across the water.
2. Check Your Engine & Propeller
Run your fingers along each propeller blade to feel for chips or dents. Damaged blades are inefficient and should be replaced if overly worn.
If you didn’t change the before storing your boat for the winter, check it now and replace if dirty. Top up all fluids and check spark plugs and fuel filters to see if they need to be changed out. Lubricate all drivelines and pivot points.
It’s also smart to test your bilge pump, check the fuel tank for corrosion and flush your cooling system, too.
3. Don’t Get Stuck Without Power
Charge your battery and clean the connections with terminal cleaner and a stiff bristled brush. Refill with distilled water if required.
It’s a good idea to test your battery again prior to putting your boat on the water just to make sure it’s holding a charge.
4. Look for Rodent Damage
Mice, rats and other rodents are prone to chew on hoses and electrical cables. Inspect all wiring connections to ensure they haven’t been gnawed on while in storage.
Examine hoses for cracks and clamps for rust, and review dock and anchor lines for chafing.
5. Do Some Basic Housekeeping
Clean and treat all vinyl and cloth seats, covers and cushions. Wipe all window with an ammonia-free glass cleaner and microfiber cloth. If your boat features a bimini top, check it for tears.
Below deck, open up all doors and ports to allow the space to air out completely. Remove any mildew or mold that has accumulated over the winter.
Polish all metal and teak to its original luster.
6. Double Check Safety Features
Check the expiration date on flares and fire extinguishers and replace them if necessary. Review life jackets for rips, tears and sun damage and refill your first aid kid as required.
Replace cracked windshield wipers as they can lead to poor visibility.
Test the radio, GPS, compass, depth finder and any other marine electronics.
If you haul your boat with a trailer, test the tires, brakes and lights for proper functionality. Scrutinize the frame for rust damage.