More Spring Make-Ready Tips

It's time to prep your boat for the season.

More Spring Make-Ready Tips
The Cayenne Turbo S and Malibu Wakesetter 21 VLX proved to be an amazing trailer boating package.Robert Brown

As the weather in most of the country is getting warmer your rig needs a check-over to make sure that it is ready for the first voyage of the season. After months of hibernation and temperature extremes, your boat, motor, and trailer are due for some TLC before hitching up and heading out for a day on the water. There is nothing worse than a breakdown resulting in being stuck at the ramp, on the waterway, or beside the road instead of having an enjoyable boating afternoon. Here are a few tips gleaned from my years of boating.

First is a thorough visual inspection of everything after you remove the boat cover. Look closely for any damage to wires, hoses, and fabric or if your boat was some critter's "Motel 6" over the winter. Inspect the steering parts, controls, etc. for any corrosion or damage and make sure everything operates correctly. Fuel hoses, clamps, fittings, and fill caps should be in good shape with no seepage, cracking, or deterioration. It is also important to change filters if needed and make sure the fuel is not varnished, contaminated, or stale smelling. Safety equipment such as horns, flares, fire extinguishers, and life jackets are super important and have to be in good order and check expiration dates.

Charge the battery and inspect water levels if applicable. The cables and terminals must be clean and secure. Inspect for corrosion or seepage on the engine. If your motor was winterized correctly, it should be ready to go after priming the fuel system and servicing the battery. Start it up and check for proper operation - temperature, shifting, and gauge indications to make certain it is ready for the water. It's easier to fix something at home or in the shop instead of at the boat ramp holding up impatient boaters.

Don't forget the trailer inspection. Lights, wheel bearings, springs, rollers, bunks, tire condition and tire pressures are all things that have to be operational before taking the rig out on the highway.

Do not be one of those boaters who either block the boat ramp with a motor that will not start or who end up dead in the water needing a tow. Take a little time to "pre-flight" your rig and be rewarded with a relaxing day outdoors instead of experiencing the hassle and heartbreak of a boating breakdown.