Your Spring Boating Checklist
Safety first! Take time to review all the safety equipment on your boat. Do you have the appropriate amount of life jackets and are they all in good condition? Check the expiration date of flares and make sure your fire extinguisher is ready for another boating season. Overall now's a good idea to review the safety equipment that your state requires for your boat and make sure it's all in great condition and on board. Don't forget to also check your lines, fenders and anchors. Make sure you have what you need and in tip-top shape. A properly equipped and safe boat will ease your mind and guarantee maximum fun out on the water!
Boat RegistrationPull out your registration to confirm it has not expired and make sure your registration decals are still in good shape. This is also a good time to review your insurance and any towing service you may have.
Fuel, Fluids and Water Tanks
A powerboat isn't much fun without fuel! Before going out on the water, inspect your fuel system for leaks or damage. Pay close attention to fuel hoses, connections, and tank surfaces; signs of a damaged fuel hose include softness, brittleness, or cracking. If you have questions or see something that needs to be looked at, contact your local MarineMax for help from our service teams. When it's time to fuel up, look before you pump and stay away from fuel containing over 10% ethanol (E10) as it can do damage to your engine. Ethanol-free fuel is also commonly available.
Remember to check all fluid levels, including engine oil, power steering, power trim reservoirs, and coolant. In addition, make sure to change the engine oil, oil filters, and drive lubricants if not already done completed prior or during winter. If you have a water tank on your boat, now's a good time to check it as well. If water has been sitting in it over the winter, flush it out and refill it for your first outing.
Battery, Lights and More
Before you head out on the water, check your batteries to make sure they are fully charged and get it tested to make sure it is holding a charge. It's a good time to make sure your navigation lights all work too, and if you're a fan of great tunes, turn your stereo on and try it out. It's also important to check up on your belts, cables, and hoses because they can become brittle and may even crack during the winter. A good way to identify a worn belt is if it leaves a black residue near the pulley or fits loosely. And of course, electrical systems should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician.
Boat TrailerIf you trailer your boat, take a moment to check your tires. Look for signs of wear, check the pressure, and inflate as needed. Make sure your spare is ready to go as well. Then check the lights on your trailer as well. And, overall review your trailer for signs of wearing, age and rust.
Hull and PropellersInspect, inspect, inspect! Check your propellers for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion. Unwanted vibration and damage to your drive train can occur as a result of damaged propellers. Your propeller should be secured properly and have safe, well-maintained bearings. Look for any blisters, distortions, and cracks on your hull. This is also a good time to give your boat a bath and shine her up with a wax job. And don't forget to make sure the drain plug is securely in place before every launch.
AccessoriesHave you been considering an upgrade or two on your boat? Maybe a new stereo or updated electronics? The start of the season is a great time to consider enhance and improve your boat with some new accessories, so you can enjoy them all season long. Visit your local MarineMax parts and service department to find out what is available and for installation.