Sail Into Spring

2016-03-20 Spring Pic

Last month you cleaned things up and now that spring has sprung, you’re ready to set sail! Before leaving port, don’t let an ill-prepped vessel put a chill on your warm-weather plans! We know you’ve been itching to get back on the water all winter long, but those long, dreary months spent ashore can take a toll on your boat’s sea-worthiness. Follow the checklist below to avoid “springing” a leak and get your 2016 boating season off to a safe and enjoyable start.

FUEL SYSTEM:

  • Check for any obvious leaks or physical damage, paying specific attention to fuel hose connections and tank surfaces.
  • If fuel hoses appear soft, brittle, or have visible cracks, replace the affected parts and make sure clamps are secured

BELTS, CABLES & HOSES:

  • These components have a tendency to decay during winter storage; make sure belts are tightly fitted around corresponding pulleys to prevent slippage
  • Check the outer jacket of the throttle; cracks or swells in this area may indicate internal corrosion of the shift and control cables

ELECTRIC SYSTEM:

  • Make sure all electrical connections are free of visible corrosion; remove any corroded terminals and clean them thoroughly with a wire brush before replacing
  • Charge and test your battery
  • Consider getting your electrical system inspected by a qualified technician

FLUID LEVELS:

  • Ensure that oil, power steering, trim reservoirs and engine coolant levels are topped off
  • Change the engine oil and filter along with the drive lubricants

PROPELLERS & HULLS:

  • Look over propellers to make sure they’re free of excessive dents, pitting, or cracks that could cause vibration and damage the drive chain
  • Check hull for blistering, splinters, holes and cracks and ensure the drain plug is secure prior to launch

SAFETY GEAR:

  • Ensure life jackets are not damaged or frayed and there are an adequate number of appropriate-sized vests for all passengers on board
  • Check onboard fire extinguishers
  • Verify all enclosed areas have operable carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries in these devices if necessary
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