Preparing for This Spring’s Maiden Voyage: Getting Your Boat Out of Winter Storage

Boats in a harbor. Spring is here, and the water is calling. It’s time to pull your boat out of storage – and while you may be itching to get out on the water, don’t neglect your vessel. Take the time to ensure that your boat is seaworthy, and the season’s first voyage will be a success.

Fuel system

Review the fuel system for leaks or any visible damage, especially to fuel lines. Damaged fuel lines will often appear to be cracked or brittle. When replacing components, make sure that all connections are secure and free of leaks.

Belts, cables and hoses

Similarly to fuel lines, these parts are often made of rubber which can dry out and crack over time. Make sure that belts are tight and control cables are free of cracks and swells.

Electrical

Salt in the air and water can corrode your boat’s electronics. Look for and eliminate corrosion with a wire brush and, if necessary, replace any badly corroded components. This is also a good opportunity to check your battery to ensure it still holds a charge.

Fluids

Check oil, power steering power trim reservoir and coolant levels, and replace any fluids that weren’t changed when the boat was winterized.

Propellers and hull

Look for places where the exterior of the boat has been compromised by dings, scratches, cracks or distortion. Replace the propeller bearings when necessary to keep the blade running smoothly.

Safety gear

Make sure you have a well-fitting life vest for each passenger, and that they are in good condition. You should also check to make sure your fire extinguishers are the correct class for your boat, and that they’re charged and easily accessible. Boaters know that owning a watercraft is an expensive hobby, and taking proper care of it can help prevent large repair bills. Help avoid costly bills from accidental mishaps with a boat insurance policy. For more information on taking your boat out of storage, check out this guide by discoverboating.com.