The Rites of Spring—Boater’s Edition

Source: Flikr ©CC BY-SA 2.0  Jim Stauffer

Source: Flikr ©CC BY-SA 2.0 Jim Stauffer

The days are growing longer… the mercury in the thermometer is climbing… spring is on the way! Like most boaters, you’ve probably spent winter dreaming about the day you can bring your boat out of hibernation. Will it be ready for the water when you do?

If you performed a by-the-book winterizing job, the odds that your spring commissioning will go smoothly are better than if you’d simply hauled her out and ignored her till now. Yet, even the most tenderly cared for craft needs additional attention before that first outing of the year.

The truth is, months of inactivity can take a toll on your boat. Fluids dry up. Batteries discharge. Fuel gets stale. Fortunately, an afternoon of pre-season preparation can help you find and fix any issues that could keep you off the water.

Key areas of maintenance include the fuel system, electrical system, propellers and hulls, belts, cables and hoses, fluid levels, and safety gear.

We’ve put together a spring start up checklist with general guidelines to get you started. Of course, you’ll also want to check your owner’s manual for manufacturers recommendation or instructions specific to your boat model.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your boat and trailer registrations are up-to-date. Regulations regarding boat registrations vary by state. Our friends at Take Me Fishing™ have a developed a tool that can direct you to your state’s registration information. Click here to check it out.