Boat Maintenance Checklist for Hitting the Water this Summer

12:04 PM

Summer is HERE! As the weather gets hotter, you are probably looking forward to taking your boat out on the water at your first available opportunity. Before you get your boat out, you should think about some maintenance that might need to be done. Having a maintenance checklist to ensure your boat is in tip top shape could save you some trouble later in the season. Firstmate Controls has some tips on what you should look for before you take your boat out on the water.

Make sure your batteries work. If this is the first time taking your boat out for the season, it is possible that after sitting all winter your battery may have lost it's charge. You may just need to recharge it. You should also clean and tighten all electrical connections and battery terminals. Make sure to clean your battery terminals very well. If you have any corrosion on your battery, it could cause your boat to not start in the future. After you clean your battery terminals, coat the terminals with insulating film or grease, or you can purchase a protective battery terminal spray.

Check to make sure ALL your lights work. The time to find out that a light is not working, is not when you are in the middle of the main channel after the sun goes down! Working lights are an important safety consideration when boating.

Inspect Your Prop(s) 
Check for any dings that could have occurred to the prop during storage or after your last use. Ensure that cotter pins are secure. Move your shaft back and forth. If it is loose, the cutlass bearing may need to be replaced.

Outboard Engines 
Look at the rubber out drive bellows for any cracks or dry spots. If you suspect the rubber could be damaged at all, replace them. Be sure to check the oil, power steering, and power trim oil levels. Inspect outer jackets of all controls. If there are any cracks, consider changing the cable.

Engines and Fuel Systems
Check all your fuel lines. Make sure to check both your fill and vent hoses. Ensure none of your hoses have cracks or are brittle. Examine your fuel tanks, fuel pumps, and fuel pumps for possible leaks.

Don't forget to check your trailer if you are planning on transporting your boat anywhere. Inspect your tires to see if they need to be replaced. You may need to add some air if it has been sitting for an extended period of time. Hook your trailer up and test to see if your lights are working properly. Take a look at your frame to see if there is any rust. If you find any rust, sand it down and re-paint that spot. If you take care of rust when it first starts, you could prolong the life of your boat trailer.

Safety Gear 
Check all your safety gear to make sure everything is still in working order. Check your life jackets and MOB gear. Make sure to check to see if your flares have expired or gotten wet. If you think there is any possibility that your flares are not in working condition, replace them. Checking your safety gear on board is a very important step. This could save you a ticket in the future if you make sure all your safety equipment is up to code. Nothing ruins boating fun faster than a hefty ticket.

Boat Registration
Make sure that your boat's registration is up to date. Your Missouri boat registration is valid for three years and expires on June 30th of the final registration year. The Missouri Department of Revenue should send you a notice if your registration is about to expire. However, you should check your registration just to make sure. If you do need to renew your registration you will need three documents. Have personal property tax documentation, such as a personal property tax receipt specific to your boat. You will also need a statement of non-assessment from your county tax assessor or collector. Lastly, you will need all necessary boat registration renewal fees. Renewal fees are based on the length of your vessel.

General maintenance and checklists are necessary when you are a boat owner. Take the steps to make sure your boat is in full working order this boating season to avoid expensive repairs later. During your summer maintenance checklist, if you find any damage to your boat lift or you are thinking about making your boating season easier by installing a boat lift on your dock, feel free to contact the best boat lift control system manufacturer, Firstmate Controls. Ask us about our boat lift remote control system and how you can lift your boat out of the water with a simple click of a button!

Boat Lift Controls You Can Count On!

Firstmate Controls 
130 Century Commerce Loop
Labadie, MO 63055

Phone: (866) 570-9707

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