how to prepare your boat for spring

How to Prepare Your Boat for Spring

With boating season now upon us, it is crucial to ensure everything is ready for the water. Perhaps you recently purchased a boat lift so you no longer need to transport your boat to and from the water and can safely dock it by the pier. Alternatively, maybe you recently acquired a new boat and need to prepare it for the season ahead.

By productively and proactively preparing your boat, you can ensure a safer boating experience and prevent delaying the start of your boating season. In the content below, we discuss how to prepare your boat for spring and other seasons ahead by providing a maintenance breakdown by each major component.

Acquire, Secure, and Review Proper Boating Documentation

Before diving into more technical preparation tasks, take a moment to review your boat’s registration to ensure it is both current and onboard. At any moment, you will need to have this documentation available if an officer from the Department of Natural resources (DNR) asks to see it. Additionally, now would also be a great time to ensure your boating license is both active and renewed.

If you have yet to purchase boat towing insurance, this is a great opportunity to consider acquiring coverage. In the event an emergency arises, you will be glad to have adequate coverage.

Clean Your Boat from the Inside Out

Before inspecting additional boating compartments and components, spend a day or two effectively cleaning your boat. As a result, you will be able to better notice anything out of the ordinary or in need of repair.

To begin, clean the hull by using a marine-safe cleanser and avoiding dish soaps that may remove wax. Once completed, apply an additional wax coating to protect your hull’s finish.

Then, clean your boat’s windows and hatches to increase visibility while on the water. While cleaning the windows, inspect and ensure your wiper blades function properly. If you see damage or excessive wear and tear, use the opportunity to purchase replacement wipers and install them before taking your boat on the water.

Additionally, take a considerable amount of time to check that every drain and scupper is both clear and unclogged. For any needing repair, clean them to ensure proper water drainage and prevent pooling in your boat.

Finally, clean and polish all metal components with a good metal polish. As a result, you will easily detect any other boating issues during the inspection phase.

Inspect Your Boat Electrical System and Components

To best prepare your boat for spring and enjoy the entire boating season, examine the boat’s entire electrical system and additional components. Below is a simple checklist to follow:

Boat Battery

  • Check the boat’s battery and recharge as needed.
  • Assess and clean the battery terminals in search of corrosion.
  • Examine the boat battery water level. If low, add distilled water as tap water diminishes performance.

Boat Bonding System, Wiring, and Shore Power System

  • Test for proper functioning as the bonding system connects a boat’s underwater metals such as through-hull fittings and rudders.
  • Examine all wiring and antennas to ensure they are secure and intact. Repair and replace if you notice signs of wear and fraying.
  • Apply corrosion-inhibitor products to all metal connections.
  • Add spare fuses to the boat’s storage compartment in case a fuse burns out.
  • Assess all gauges and test them for efficiency.
  • Test the shore power system to ensure the charger works effectively. Doing so can save fuel consumption while the boat is idle.

Steering Equipment and Other Electronics

  • Inspect the outer jacket of the throttle, shift, and steering control cables for cracks or swells. These may mean internal corrosion and failure.
  • Check functionality of all other electronics on the boat such as fish finders and radios.

Examine Motor and Safety Equipment

Unless you own a rowboat or dingy, boats are rendered useless with a failed motor. As a result, thoroughly examine your motor and boat engine counterparts. Continue to monitor oil levels to ensure proper and effective use.

Additionally, in the event of an emergency, having reliable safety equipment on board is essential. Below, we explore common boating essentials and additional safety equipment to have on board and examine for proper functionality.

Docking equipment

  • ground tackle
  • lines
  • tethers
  • chain plates
  • anchors
  • fenders

Emergency tools

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Stanchions
  • Pulpits
  • Bailer
  • Compass and nautical charts
  • Distress signals, emergency flares, navigation lights, and radar reflectors
  • First aid supplies
  • Epoxy sticks
  • Life jackets, lifelines, life rafts, boat cushions, and other emergency vessels

Boat Lift and Boat Trailer

While these items don’t join you on the water, preparing your boat lift and boat trailer for the season is equally crucial. Therefore, take good care of your boat lift motor.  Additionally, inspect your boat lift cables for signs of fraying or excessive wear and tear. With a proper boat lift in place, you can rest assured that you will safely place your boat in the water

When transporting your boat to and from the dock, you must secure your boat trailer and ensure that the rollers are in good condition. Also, confirm that your trailer’s wheel bearings, straps, chains, latches, turn signals and brake lights function properly to adhere to road safety guideline. Finally, inspect the boat trailer bunks to see if this is a good opportunity to replace them.

Prepare for the Season with Boat Lift Repair Parts

We understand that every now and then, a boat lift and boat trailer part needs replacement. Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine if the part needs repair or if it is time to purchase a replacement. That’s why our experts at Boat Lift Repair Parts work hard to create reliable boat lift motors and lifting systems with durability and longevity in mind.

We will assist in helping you decide which lifting component is best for your boating needs. If you would like to receive additional information about all our products or would like to request a quote on one of our kits, contact us today!