Git’er Done: Heading Back On The Water Maintenance

As winter gives way to spring, it’s time to prepare your boat for the upcoming season. Here are some essential post-winter boat maintenance tasks:

  1. Inspect the Hull and Bottom:
    • Check for Damage: Examine the hull for cracks, blisters, or any signs of wear.
    • Clean and Wax: Remove any accumulated grime, barnacles, or algae. Apply a fresh coat of marine wax to protect against UV rays and saltwater corrosion.
  2. Engine and Mechanical Systems:
    • Fluids and Filters: Change the engine oil, coolant, and fuel filters. Inspect belts, hoses, and clamps for wear.
    • Battery Check: Charge or replace the boat’s battery if needed. Ensure proper connections and clean terminals.
    • Propeller Inspection: Look for dings, bends, or other damage. Replace if necessary.
  3. Electrical Systems:
    • Wiring and Connections: Inspect all wiring, connectors, and switches. Tighten loose connections and replace damaged wires.
    • Bilge Pump: Test the bilge pump to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
  4. Interior and Upholstery:
    • Clean and Deodorize: Air out the cabin, clean upholstery, and remove any musty odors.
    • Inspect Seating and Cushions: Check for tears, mold, or mildew. Repair or replace as needed.
  5. Safety Equipment:
    • Life Jackets and Flares: Inspect life jackets for wear and ensure they’re in good condition. Check expiration dates on flares.
    • Fire Extinguishers: Verify that fire extinguishers are charged and operational.
  6. Navigation and Electronics:
    • GPS and Chartplotter: Update software and charts. Test navigation lights and other electronic devices.
    • VHF Radio: Check antenna connections and test communication.
  7. Freshwater Systems:
    • Water Tanks and Lines: Flush freshwater tanks and lines. Sanitize if necessary.
    • Toilet and Holding Tank: Inspect and clean the marine toilet system.

Remember, thorough post-winter maintenance ensures a safe and enjoyable boating experience. Happy sailing!