Spring is officially here & it’s time to think about dusting that boat off and getting it in top running shape. The warm weather will be here soon & you want to be ready so you don’t miss a minute out on the water. Here are some boat engine tips and other things to check before taking your boat out for the first time this season. Please be aware, this boat maintenance tips checklist does not represent everything you should check on your boat but merely give suggestions of where you should start. Please consult a certified marine repair mechanic prior to working on your boat motor also be sure to consult your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions specific to your boat model.
Belts, Cables & Hoses
- Always check for cracking that occurred during winter storage.
- Belts should fit tightly around the pulleys to prevent slipping. A worn belt may have a black substance near the pulley & also may fit loosely.
- Control cables with cracks or swelling on the outer layer may indicate need to replace. Contact your boat repair center or order cables online to replace yourself.
- Review electrical connections for cleanliness and tightness. Check for corrosion which is often a sign that the connection may not be safe. Remove terminals and use a wire brush to clean connections and cable ends.
- Charge your battery and test it so you can be sure it will hold a charge. Electrical systems should be routinely inspected by a qualified technician.
Check all fluid levels including
- Engine oil- Change the oil if this was not done during winterizing. Include a new oil filter & change drive lubricants
- Power trim reservoir
- Power Steering Fluid
Propellers & Hulls
- Inspect propellers for damage. Verify the propeller is properly secured.
If you experience unwanted vibration, poor performance and damage to the propulsion system, your prop may be damaged & need to be replaced.
- Inspect the Hull – look for cracks & distortions. Clean the outside of your boat using an environmentally-safe cleaner.
- Check your fuel lines for damage. Signs of damaged hoses can be either cracking, hard hoses or very soft hoses. Remember to check fuel hoses, connections and tank surfaces.
- Insure clamps and fitting are secured.
- Ensure the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems are also all functioning properly.
- Lifejackets need to be in good condition It’s important for passengers to have access to the correct size lifejacket for their body weight.
- Onboard fire extinguishers must be the correct class for your boat, fully charged.
- Inspect trailer wheels, verify that tires are inflated to proper level.
- Check that trailer straps are not worn and are holding properly.
- Verify that your trailer is the proper size for your boat.
For an even more extensive boat inspection checklist, visit www.boatengine.com/boat-maintence-tips/