Boat Maintenance Tips
By: Tim Pellaton
- 20 year Barefoot Tournament Driver -
- Nationally Ranked Senior Driver -
- Chief Driver at National and World Events -
- Chief Safety Director at National and World Events -
- 19 year Member of USA Waterski ABC Division Towboat Committee -
First Time out for the Season
If you are a seasonal boat enthusiast, you usually put Your boat away for the winter and break it back out sometime in the Spring. It is a good practice to check the boat, the trailer and the tow vehicle before you embark on your first trip to the water.
Lets start with the boat
If you have winterized your boat, you must now unwinterize it. Simply work in reverse order. Check the battery to make sure it still has a good charge on it. Check engine oil and transmission fluid (on inboards) or lower unit oil (on outdrives) to make sure they are clean and at the proper levels. Next, check to see if your engine starts easily. Steering, throttle and shift controls should be checked to determine they are working properly. Check to make sure your hull plugs are where they are suppose to be according to your system of putting them in place prior to launching. Check to see that all coast guard equipment is in good condition. Check your Fire Extinguisher's gauge, to make sure your extinguisher does not need to be recharged.
Now the trailer
make sure the tires still have the proper amount of tire tread on them and are inflated to the proper air pressure. Give those wheel bearings a couple squirts of wheel bearing lube. Check all running and tail lights along with the connectors from the trailer to the tow vehicle to make sure all are working. If you have breaks on your trailer, it's a good idea to check them.
Your Tow Vehicle
Because you probably drive your tow vehicle and hopefully keep all regular maintenance current, it should be ready to go. The one thing many people ignore, is the tow ball on your hitch. It should be tightened each year and checked a couple of times during the season, especially if you go out a lot.
Well, that should get you ready for smooth trips to and from your place of recreation on the water