Even boats that were properly stowed away for the winter need an inspection before heading to the water.
Give the boat a thorough cleaning inside and out. This is a good time to look for cracks or gouges in the hull.
When you finish sprucing up the interior and exterior, you are ready to complete your de-winterizing checklist.
- Check The Engine
A thorough check of the engine includes an oil change. Also, inspect the out oil drive, making certain that it is clean and ready for you to start the engine. Do not forget to change the oil filter, and adding the right oil additive can keep your engine clean and corrosion free.
- Refill The Cooling System
Do this if you drained the cooling system before storing the boat for winter to prevent the coolant line from freezing. Check the hoses for cracks and holes and be sure to empty the strainer. If you have an outboard engine that uses an impeller cooling system, make sure that the rubber impeller is not cracked.
- Check Your Battery
Check your battery and if needed, top off any fluids. It is best to use distilled water for this task. Using a battery tester, check the amps and volts. Should the battery be incapable of holding a charge it most likely needs replacement. If it is holding a charge, attach the cables after cleaning any corrosion from the battery terminals.
- Clean The Distributor
Clean the distributor. In order to do this task, you first remove the distributor cap. During the winter, distributors often corrode. When finished, hook all connections up tightly.
- Examine The Fuel System
Carefully inspect the fuel line for cracks. Change the fuel filter if it's the same one you used last season. If you did not put an additive in the gas to prevent water contamination and/or fuel separation, drain the gas from the fuel tank, as the gas is probably stale.
- Check For Worn Belts
Worn belts need replacement. If a belt has a lot of give, replace it.
Check your owner's manual for any other things you need to do before putting it into the water.