Spring has sprung…and you know what that means, right? Boating season begins! Now is the time to get your boat ship-shape so you can thoroughly enjoy being out on Lake Oconee, without the maintenance hassles. Mind you, we have the great advantage of having our very knowledgeable marina manager, Jerry Cash, and his team available to efficiently and effectively get your boat out of dry storage and back on the lake. But if you want to get your boat lake-worthy on your own, you’ll certainly want to check on each of the following:
Outside visual check
If your boat is safely out of the water, either on a lift or a trailer, take the time to walk around and inspect it. Take a close look at the propeller to check that it is secured properly. Also look for cracks, dings and distortion on the propeller as well as on the hull and make repairs as needed. Double check to make sure your drain plug is in place.
Don’t just fill up and go! Take a moment or two to inspect the fuel system. Look for leaks and ensure that all associated hoses aren’t brittle or cracked. If they are, replace them. Ensure that all clamps are properly secured. Check the fuel filter and replace it if need be.
Check all fluid levels, including engine oil, power steering, power trim and coolant. If you did not change the engine oil, oil filter and drive lubricants before putting your boat in storage last year, be sure to do that now.
Ensure that all electrical connections are corrosion-free. If you find any corroded terminals, safely remove and clean them. Be sure that your battery is charged up AND that it can hold a charge for an extended period of time. Test all gauges, lights and electronics to ensure they are operating properly. Have a few spare bulbs and fuses handy, as you’ll never know when you need them.
Replace old spark plugs with new ones and check the air filter to see if it needs replacing. Check all belts and cables and ensure that they are not loose or overly worn. Don’t chance it – replace any that you find concerning. Also, test your engine before you get the boat in the water — be sure to start it up outside where there is adequate ventilation. Properly lubricate all moving parts.
This is the stuff that is SO easy to overlook! Be sure to have enough properly-fitting and good quality life preservers (PFDs) on board (one for each passenger), a fully charged fire-extinguisher and a well-stocked first-aid kit. Flares can’t hurt either.
Be sure that your boat registration is up-to-date. Also check on your ropes and anchor. If you are trailering your boat, be sure that your trailer tires are road-worthy and that the brake, turn signal and running lights are working properly. There you have it! A little preventative maintenance now will go a long way toward wonderful boating experiences on the lake. Don’t forget that our Boathouse marina has year-round access to fuel, our store and, of course the boat ramp. We look forward to seeing you on the lake soon!