4/17/2013 12:17 AM

Boat Pre-Launch Maintenance

It’s spring time! For millions of boaters that means it’s time to take their boats out of storage and put them in the water. Annual preparations and cleaning are necessary to help ensure the boats safety and also to prevent problems that could keep them off the water. Before your launch, here are some main areas of maintenance:

Fuel System: Inspect the fuel system for damage or leaks. Signs of damage to fuel hoses include softness, brittleness or cracking. Replace components when necessary and make sure all fittings are secure. Don’t forget to check if the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems are working properly.

Electrical System: Inspect all electrical connections and make sure they are fit properly and clean since corrosion is a sign that the connection may not be safe. Charge you battery and have it tested to ensure that it can hold a charge.

Propellers and Hulls: Inspect propellers for any dings, cracks or distortion. Make sure it is secured and replace bearings when needed. Damaged propellers can also cause damage to your drive train. When inspecting the hull look for distortions and cracks. It’s also a good idea to clean the hull, deck and topsides.

Belts, Cables and Hoses: These components are important to check because they can become brittle and crack during winter storage. Belts should fit tightly and cracks on the outer control cables are a sign you have to take immediate action to repair.

Fluids: Check all fluid levels including oil, power steering and coolant. Change the fluids if this wasn’t done before winter storage.

Safety: Make sure your life jackets are in good condition and that there are enough on board for all passengers. All fire extinguishers should be the correct class for your boat and are fully charged and stowed properly.

Follow these tips and you will be on your way to a safe and happy boating season!

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