Before you hit the water at the first sign of spring, it's essential to conduct proper boat maintenance to keep your boat performing at its best. You'll want to catch any mechanical faults before you're on the water.
Set aside a day before launch to complete these boat maintenance steps or have them checked by a professional:
Get your boat running.
- Charge the battery.
After sitting idle all winter, the battery may be low — or even dead. Plug it in overnight to charge it, or purchase a new battery if necessary. Check the acid levels in the battery and top them off with distilled water.
- Top off the fuel tank.
You don't want to be stranded in the middle of the water.
- Inspect the engine.
Make sure all parts are in good condition.
- Look for loose hose clamps.
- Replace the spark plugs.
- Inspect belts, cables and hoses to make sure they aren't cracked or brittle.
- Check the impeller to make sure it's not too worn. Impellers typically need to be replaced every two years or after 200 hours of use.
- Check the brake lights.
If you're hauling your boat on a trailer, make sure the brake and signal lights are working.
Clean the exterior.
- Use a mild detergent to wipe it down, then add a coat of wax.
Prep other essentials.
- Don't forget life jackets.
Make sure you have enough on board and that they are all in good condition, easily accessible and sized appropriately for passengers.
- Review other safety gear. Store safety items, such as a first-aid kit, flares, fire extinguisher and flashlights, in a waterproof container.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.