Springtime Boating: Pulling Your Boat Out of Storage

boat7That sound you hear is ice cracking, snow melting and the Northern Hemisphere warming up for spring. Can boating season be far behind? If you hauled out last fall, here are some tips to make sure you can re-float your boat when you pull it out of storage.

Did you properly winterize your boat before you stored it? Great! However, there are still a few things you’ll need to take care of to reverse the process. If you just towed your boat to the mini storage facility without prepping it first, you’re in for some serious maintenance.

Overwhelmed? Break it into smaller tasks to make the process easier.

The Boat

The experts at Wholesale Marine recommend you start with a thorough cleaning. Even if you cleaned your boat before you stored it, it’s been sitting in a self storage facility all winter. There’s bound to be some dust and dirt, especially if you stored your boat in the facility’s yard. So wipe down the interior, run the vacuum and power-wash the bottom. Repair any dings, dents, scratches and gouges. Apply a good coat of wax to protect the surface from UV damage. If you use bottom paint, this is a good time to apply a fresh coat to keep slime and barnacles from damaging your hull.

Wood boats demand extra TLC. Basic Boat Care and Maintenance, published by TakeMeFishing.org, says to check carefully for possible damage and rot. Pay special attention along the waterline, in the transom and under decks that might have retained moisture.

BoatSafe.com’s Pre-Season Checklist includes these basic tasks:

  •     Clean and polish all bright work
  •     Replace hull zincs
  •     Clean and grease winches, lubricate the anchor windlass
  •     Clean canvas, bimini and dodger
  •     Check rudder, fittings, stanchion, pulpits and lifelines for wear
  •     Inspect and test trim tabs
  •     Go below deck and check hoses and lamps

Engine and Electrical Components

Justin Hoffman, writing for Bass Pro, offers these tips to de-winterize your boat’s engine:

  •     Install fresh spark plugs
  •     If you didn’t change lower gear case oil last fall, do it now
  •     Check all other fluid levels
  •     Lubricate all moving connection
  •     Reconnect fuel lines (and tighten or replace hose clamps if needed)

If you disconnected any electronics, now is the time to reconnect them and test each item before you launch. Don’t forget to take a look at your oil, fuel and air filters, and replace them if needed.

Don’t forget to check safety equipment including signaling devices, fire extinguishers, hand pumps, first aid supplies and life preservers.

The Spring Start-Up Checklist at DiscoverBoating.com offers this advice for pre-season boat preparation:

  •     Inspect your fuel system for leaks. Soft, brittle or cracking indicates damaged hoses that need to be replaced.
  •     Charge your battery and test it to make sure it can still hold a charge.
  •     Inspect your propeller for damage that can cause unwanted vibration and harm your drive train. Make sure the propeller is secured and replace the bearings if needed.
  •     Check belts and cables for wear. Black residue near the pulley could indicate a worn or loose belt. Cracking and swelling on control cable covering requires immediate attention.

Be sure that you test your engine before you launch at your lakefront home. Do this in an open, well-ventilated area (definitely NOT inside your mini storage unit).

View more of Original Post here.

Re-posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”

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