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11 Ways to Get Your Boat Ready for Boating Season


  1. Engine Service


    Your engine is the workhorse of your boat. Make sure it’s in tip-top shape come boating season. Before going out, getting your boat checked by a licensed mechanic is always a good idea. Consider checking off these essentials each season: Install new anodes Replace spark plugs Get a new oil/fuel filter water separator Inspect your propeller and replace the impeller Check fluids and fill them up if needed Replace any belts and hoses

  3. Cleaning out your bilge


    Oil build up in your bilge can put you at risk of an overspill which not only pollutes the waterways but can bring about a fine. Use an inline bilge filter and make sure your hoses are not leaking and the clamps are tight. Clean up any spills as they occur and use a good bilge cleaner with a wet-vac or hand pump and dispose of the bilge water ashore. Oil booms that contain microbes that “eat” oil are good to keep in the bilge as well.

  5. Bottom Paint


    Don’t neglect the bottom paint job on your boat. Take a look at the paint on your boat’s bottom and determine if it needs a new coat at the beginning of boating season. Bottom paint, also known as antifouling paint, helps to repel weeds, barnacles, and other aquatic organisms from attaching themselves to the bottom of your boat. Make sure you select the proper paint for your locality as certain areas do not allow “hard” or copper-based paints.

  7. Replace old safety equipment


    Old safety equipment that’s not up to standards can quickly become a safety hazard. Check all gear you need to keep everyone safe on the water. This might mean replacing the cartridges on inflatable personal floatation devices or replacing expired flares. Make sure you have a list with the dates of installation of necessary safety equipment and update where needed.

  9. Install physical upgrades


    Was there anything you could have really used on your boat last season? There are probably a few things on your list. A good choice would be to upgrade your incandescent lights to long lasting, low power-draw LED lights. Or maybe it’s time for more comfortable and attractive boat seats. Think back and upgrade for a great new season on the water.

  11. Fix dents/cracks in fiberglass or aluminum


    Dents and cracks in your boat’s fiberglass. The good news is that you can easily fix fiberglass with a fiberglass repair kit. For aluminum hull damage, there are several expoxy’s on the market that can repair your aluminum boat without needing to weld. To prevent dings next time, install rub rail around the perimeter of your boat and always carry the right amount of fenders. Your boat will be ready to go.

  13. Refinish/protect wood


    Your boat’s wood needs constant protection. A good teak oil will prevent UV ray damage to any teak on your vessel. Top-side finishes will keep your boat looking smart and stay protected from salt-water and sun.

  15. Inspect/Replace Hoses


    As part of your maintenance routine, inspect all engine hoses as well as bilge and freshwater hoses. Replace any hoses and clamps that are worn-out or show signs of leaking. You will be thankful for doing this before you leave the dock as a broken hose can be problematic when away from shore.

  17. Install electrical upgrades

    There are plenty of new navigation and electronics that could improve your boat. This could mean an updated navigation system that helps you get home in a storm or a radio with a wider range. There are multiple new fishfinders and side-scan sonars on the market to help you with your next catch. If you plan on using your boat more than previous seasons, upgrading your electronics is probably a good idea.

  19. Check & Maintain Trailer


    Though you may be spending a lot of time maintaining and upgrading your boat for next season, don’t forget about your trailer. Make sure your trailer is in good shape to get your boat to and from the water. This means checking your trailer tires and lights, ensuring your connection is still in working order, and replacing any worn-out or broken parts.

  21. Get registration for the boat for the coming year


    Sometimes it’s easy to forget the simple things. One of those is getting your boat registration. There’s nothing worse than getting ready for a nice day out on the water and realize you forgot to update your registration for the year.