It’s been pretty cold, and your boat has been in winter storage for months. With spring here, the temptation to just pull it out and take off the cover is strong.
Unfortunately, there’s more to bringing your boat out of winter storage than that. There are a few things you need to do before taking to the water.
First of all, check the electrics. Make sure any batteries are charged fully. Clean and tighten all of your electrical connections and protect your battery terminals with grease or spray. Make sure that electrical systems start up. Bear in mind that rechargeable batteries are most likely to fail after a period of non-use. Check internal lights, running lights, GPS systems and, of course, the bilge pump if you have one.
Then, check the engine. You should check oil and coolant levels, power steering fluid and transmission oil. Look for fluid leaks in the bilge area, and inspect all fuel lines. Check fuel and air filters. If you are a sail type, inspect all swage fittings, rigging, and run a rag over stays and shrouds – this will help you find fishhooks which indicate wire wear. Run a hose over chain plates to check for leaks, recaulk if necessary.
Water systems should be checked. If you put antifreeze in the fresh water tank, make sure you flush it out completely before connecting the pump, or toxic antifreeze may end up in your drinking water. Make sure the raw-water intake strainer is clean, fits correctly, and undamaged.
Finally, be sure to check all of your safety gear including flares, fire extinguishers, life jackets, etc. And, of course, make sure your marine insurance is up to date and sufficient for your needs. Contact Integra Insurance Services for a quote today.