Before you head out to open water this spring and summer, there are a few things that you should check to make sure your boat is ready to launch. Here are 5 check points from Boating World Magazine:
1. Start your preparations a couple days before. So you have made it through the winter storage months, and the warm weather couldn’t have come any sooner. Before you head to the water, prepare a few days in advance by charging your boat’s batteries, idling the motor up to temperature, checking for leaks, tightening hose clamps and changing the motor oil, oil filter, water separators, drive and transmission fluids.
2. Engine maintenance. Nothing smells as bad as melted rubber from an overheated motor. Now is a good time to change those raw-water cooling impellers in the motor, drives and generators. Manufacturers typically recommend changing the impellers once every two to three years no matter the time in use.
3. Top off the tank with a good grade of fuel. Fuel nowadays may be great for cars, but when it sits in your boat over the winter it can dissipate, gel, separate and cause damage to fuel tanks, rubber lines and fuel systems.
4. Don’t forget about that trailer! The brake system and bearings need some attention too. Be sure you lubricate your wheel bearings to the manufacturer’s specs, and do not overfill. Overfilling the bearings or bearing buddies could blow out the rear seals, allowing all the grease to evacuate from the bearings.
5. Take your time launching your boat. You get to your favorite ramp proud of your clean and shiny boat, and there are 10 other tow vehicles with boats sitting behind you ready to launch. In a rush, you start to launch and realize that the boat is either not coming off the trailer or is taking on water. You most likely forgot to remove the transom safety straps or install the drain plug.