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How to Prep Your Boat for Summer

Yay! Summer is just around the corner. Well… if it ever decides to stop raining that is. Here on the WestCoast, we have lots of boating options available to us, some of them year-round. For most people though, their pleasure crafts have been winterized and stored safely out of the rain since last year. Spring is the time when us hopeful WestCoasters see a glimpse of sunshine and jump on outdoor activities. So what can you do to de-winterize (springerize?) your boat? Well before you go delivering your beautiful vessel into the water you’ll want to follow at least these few steps to ensure the safety of you and your fellow boaters:

  1. Check the Engine. If you didn’t change the oil and oil filter at the end of last season, now is the time to do it. Changing the oil will help prevent corrosion and excessive wear which can lead to loss of power, poor fuel economy, or even engine failure. You’ll also want to flush the cooling system and replace the antifreeze. Also, check the battery and see if it needs replacing.
  2. Inspect the Exterior. Check over the entire hull and look for any scrapes or cracks that might need to be fixed before hitting the water. If the boat’s exterior appears chalky it could mean oxidation has occurred and you may need to refinish the gel coat. While you’re inspecting you can polish the hull with a marine safe cleaning solution.
  3. Check over the Vinyl and/or Canvas. Inspect your seats, covers, etc for tears or rips and have them repaired. While you’re at it, you should give the interior of your boat a good clean.
  4. Test Electronics. Make sure you test all of your electronics and check that they are in working order. Replace or repair when needed.
  5. Check your Safety Equipment. Make sure all of your safety equipment is available and that nothing has broken or expired. Review this guideline from discoverboating.ca:

    Required and Recommended Equipment

    • Sound signaling device
    • Check distress signals and expiration date
    • Check PFDs
    • Inspect life rings
    • Check fire extinguishers and recharge if necessary
    • Check and adjust compass
    • Check navigation lights
    • Check charts and replace as necessary
    • Check radar reflector
    • Check and replace first aid supplies
    • Check bailer and hand pump
  6. Get Insured! Call the experts at Maxxam for all of your marine insurance needs!