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Spring Boat Checklist - Boat Maintenance

Thu 4th Apr 2013

Prepare your Boat for Launch after a Long Cold Winter

As we’re slowly entering Spring and we’re starting to get sunshine rather than snow, it’s almost time to get back out on the water. With that, we’ve put together a check list for you to go through before you launch off.

Your setting off checklist will vary depending on your type and size of boat, but if we help to remind you of just one or two more easily forgotten essentials we’ll be glad to have helped.

Check for Damage:

  • Check for any scratches, blisters, dents or gouges, especially on the hull of the boat
  • Check deck, port lights and windows for leaks
  • Check that your automatic and manual bilge pumps work
  • Check for oil in bilges
  • Make sure limber holes are free from debris
  • Check rudder and fittings
  • Check fuel hoses for any damage and make sure that below waterline hoses are double clamped
  • Check for cracks or swells on control cables
  • Make sure wiper blades are intact; replace if need be
  • Check that all safety equipment is in full operating order
  • Check and lubricate blocks, pad eyes, seacocks, anchor windlass and battery terminals.

Cleaning & General Upkeep

  • Clean the deck, hull, topsides, windows, interior, bilges etc using an environmentally safe cleaning solution
  • Apply a coat of wax
  • Touch up your antifouling paint if required

Check Electrical Components

  • Check your boat navigation equipment (antennas, GPS, fishfinders, radar etc) is working
  • Check your battery water level
  • Charge your battery and that it can hold a charge
  • Check wiring is all intact and connected
  • Make sure you have spare fuses, light bulbs and parts on board
  • Clean electrical connections and terminals with a wire brush

Equipment Check List

  • Distress signals (check they’re in date)
  • Lifejackets (at least one per passenger - check you have the right type)
  • Fire extinguishers (make sure they’re full and the correct class for your vessel)
  • Life rings (necessary for boats more than 5m long)
  • Compass
  • Navigation lights
  • GPS Chartplotter
  • Radar (check radar reflector)
  • First aid supplies
  • Manual and automatic bilge pumps
  • Bailer
  • Tool box with spare parts (e.g. bulbs, fuses, fuel filter, batteries etc)

Engine Checks

  • Check oil and filters (change if need be)
  • Check you’ve enough fuel for a safe return
  • Check zincs and replace if need be
  • Check coolant level, change coolant if need be
  • Check that belts fit snuggly around pulleys
  • Check transmission fluid
  • Replace spark plugs if need be
  • Check impeller
  • Check bilge blower

If you have any suggestions for other items to be added to this checklist, please let us know by commenting below.