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Spring Maintenance!

It's time to get the boat cleaned up and ready for the season. We have put together a few things to check before heading to the water.

First and foremost CHECK your safety gear!

Picture links to Kidde Recall

Inspect each of your fire extinguishers;

Remove from bracket

Check gage for proper pressure

Check for corrosion on extinguisher and bracket

Invert and feel for movement of extinguishing agent. If no movement is felt gently strike bottom with rubber mallet. It's important is does not become compressed

Check your Flotation Devices;

Each person must have a properly sized life jacket.

Dispose of worn or damaged flotation devices

Check Visual Distress and Sound gear

Check condition of distress signal flag

Check dates on flares and aerials

Check whistle and or bell

Check horn(When possible)

Check Anchor and Rode

Check rode for good attachment to anchor

Check rope or chain for chafing and wear

Check for proper storage

Check Lines

Check for wear and serviceability

Unless you're purely sailing the engine and final drive is the heart of your boat.

When gaining access to the engine(s) be cognizant of gasoline vapors. Vent them and check for signs of any fuel leaking over the winter

Take a look in the bilge for any leaks. Oily discharge from the bilge comes with a hefty fine. Find any issues now and address them

Check all ventilation equipment.

Test the blower(s) for running at speed and moving sufficient air

Are the vent hoses in good serviceable condition

Are the fresh air cowls free of debris

Check fluid levels and condition

Is there enough of the manufacturer recommended oil on the engine

Is the engine coolant up to the the top of the heat exchanger

Has the raw water system been inspected. Is the impeller in good condition. Are the hoses free of bulges, splits and cracks

Check condition of belts and tension

Is the outdrive or lower unit full. Is there water in the oil

Is the transmission fluid discolored or foul smelling.(Fluid level is checked warm, ensure some is in there before starting engine)

Check batteries

Are the fully charged and topped off with distilled water

Are they properly secured

Are the terminals properly covered

Those that have the advantage of running the boat before launching should take advantage of this. Now is a great time to test starting, cooling, and charging. Plus you can get some fresh fuel worked into the distribution system.

One of the most convenient way to get cooling water to your engine is a hose. Below are two ways of feeding the water into the intake

This type of motor flusher work on outdrives and outboards. They are brand specific.

This type is for thru hull type water intakes commonly found on inboard boats.

Have fire extinguisher at hand

Vent gasoline vapors for 5 minutes. Attach and start cooling water or if you are launched. Start engine


Look for oil leaks

Does the engine sound normal

Is cooling water flowing out of the discharge

Are the the gauges reading correctly

Let the engine run up to normal operating temperature. DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED

Once up to temperature

Check again for any leaks

Check transmission fluid if applicable

Check and note operating temperature

Shut down engine via the Boat Kill Switch to test function. Let cool

Check level condition of engine oil. Look for signs of water in oil

Check level and condition of outdrive oil. Look for signs of water in oil

Look at the electrical system

Check to ensure ALL battery connections are clean and tight. Including the isolation switch

Check for corrosion on fuse blocks, busses, and switches

Look for any signs of heat. If found have it looked at by a professional

Check all lights and test horn

Power up radio. Test when possible. Click picture below for USCG VHF Marine Radio Check

Click picture above for USCG VHF Marine Radio Check

Check your trailer

Is the tongue adjusted properly

Is the vehicle electrical connection corrosion free and clean

Is the wiring in good condition

Is the front mast and winch in serviceable condition

Are the tires in good condition

Check air pressure

Are the lug nuts torqued to specification

Are the bearings sufficiently lubricated and caps on tight

Check all lights before first trip

These are just a few things to check to help ensure an enjoyable day on the water.

Be safe out there and wear your life jacket


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