Spring and warmer weather is right around the corner. We are finally able to start to see the light at the winter tunnel! If you’re like us, rising temperatures means it’s finally time to get back on the water in Washington, NC!
Although, you may have put your boat away for the winter by doing all the right things: changed the oil, winterized the water system and engine, and emptied your boat of all extraneous gear for the offseason, there are still a few things to do before firing up the engine and heading back on the water. While there is no doubt that doing winterizing tasks will speed things up come spring, there are still some things to be addressed.
Things can go wrong on even the best-maintained boats, so it is always a good idea to complete a few checks that will ensure you don’t break down on the water, and your boat and its equipment is safe for you and your family. Here are a few tips, and things to check, for getting your boat ready for spring.
Check for Critters and Do A Little Clean Up
Even if you covered your boat for the winter season, it is still possible that a critter could have made a home in your boat. They can find the thinnest of gaps in your canvas, or sometimes chew their way through. So, when you pull your boat cover back, use caution just in case. Next, use a shop vacuum to clean up any leaves or dust. Be sure to clean the cushions, vinyl, and if you’re a pontoon owner – your Bimini top!
Check Your Engine and Fluid Levels
One of the first things you will want to do is check your engine oil. If your engine oil was not changed before putting your boat away for the winter, it should be changed now and filled to the appropriate operating level. You’ll also want to replace the oil filter and change out your gear lube if that was not changed out in the fall. If your boat has a power steering reservoir, you’ll want to check that as well and be sure it is filled to the appropriate level.
Change the Battery
Cold weather and sitting idle for an extended period of time can be hard on your boat’s battery. Hopefully your battery was unhooked during the winterization process in the fall. When you’re ready to test your battery, make sure it is filled with water and test with a battery tester. If it tests well, clean off any corrosion from the terminals and install. If it does not test well, you will probably save yourself time, headaches and money by going ahead and replacing it.
Check Registration, Life Jackets, and Everything In Between
First, check your required flares — they’re a few months older now and could be expired. Next, locate your boat’s fire extinguishers and make sure the pressure gauge is still in the green. Make sure you have enough life jackets and that they’re in good shape with no cuts or heavy mildew. Make sure you have all current stickers on your boat. Registration laws vary by state. If you live in North Carolina, you can check out the laws HERE.
Examine Your Trailer
It’s important that your trailer is just as maintained as your boat. Check the tires on your boat trailer – not only to see if they’re flat but check the trailer’s tire pressure as well.
Attach Your Electronics
Attach, and test, your boat electronics before going back out on the water. This goes for your GPS or any navigational devices, depth finders, lighting systems or speakers. Basically, if it’s controlled by a knob or switch, it should be tested!
We hope this guide on getting your boat ready for the water has been helpful! If you have any questions about our Washington, NC marina and amenities, give us a call!