As temperatures begin to rise, the time has come to pull your boat out of storage and prepare it to set sail. Before you are ready to climb aboard, there are a few steps to ensure your boat is in good condition after storing during the offseason.
When preparing to pull your boat out of storage, follow this maintenance checklist.
1. Assess the Fuel System
Your boat’s engine should run properly if it has clean fuel. As you evaluate the fuel system’s health, look for any leaks or signs of wear, and replace components when necessary to avoid future complications.
Seasonal maintenance to these systems can prolong engine life. When assessing your fuel system’s performance, test the health of the following:
- Engine system.
- Exhaust system.
- Fuel hoses.
- Tank surfaces.
- Ventilation systems.
2. Check Fluid Levels
Most boats require a transmission oil change as often as every season. This is due to the oil becoming contaminated and thus less effective. If the oil has changed in color or become rancid smelling, take proper maintenance precautions by changing the oil, filter or lubricants.
- Engine oil.
- Gearbox oil.
- Power steering.
3. Inspect Belts, Cables, and Hoses
Check your boat for any wear and tear of belts, cables and hoses as their conditions can worsen over time with repeated or frequent use. These may become brittle, worn, loosened or cracked, which are all indicators that the component should be repaired or replaced before setting sail. Ignoring these signs could lead to safety risks or faulty equipment.
4. Ensure You Have Proper Safety Equipment
When on the water, your safety as well as your friends and family should be a top priority to ensure smooth sailing. Take inventory to determine if you have the following safety equipment onboard:
- A sufficient number of lifejackets that are in good condition and are the appropriate size for the weight of each passenger.
- First aid kits that are readily available.
- Strategically placed fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors and their respective alarms.
- Unexpired emergency flairs.
It is also strongly suggested that you take advantage of the free safety inspections offered by the US Coast Guard to ensure your boat is properly equipped and ready for the water.
Are you considering storage options for your boat during the offseason? Visit our Car, RV & Boat Storage page to learn more about our wide variety of vehicle storage options available at four of our Northeast Ohio locations.
Image Source: Susanne Nilsson