How to Prepare Your Boat for the Upcoming Summer Season

During the long winter, boating enthusiasts often dream about the day their boat is launched
for the first time of the season. But, before you get too excited, make sure to follow this list of important boat
maintenance procedures.


1. Replace the spark plugs. Make sure the new ones are properly gapped.

2. Check the timer base for sticking.

3. Check the integrity of all ground wires.

4. Replace the lower unit lube.

5. Test the tilt unit.

6. Check all warning horns.

7. Check all lubricants and hydraulics.

8. Adjust steering, throttle connections and cables.

9. Check gimbal housing and all boots on I/O units.

Fuel System:

1. Replace fuel separation filters.

2. Check all hoses, clamps, and valves.

3. Examine the tanks for leaks and pitted metal.

4. Check grounding to metal deck fuel fills and make sure that the tank vent is clear.


1. Check all through-hull hardware and seacocks for electrolysis, damage and wear.

2. Check the drain plug and the tube into which it is placed.

3. Check all cleats, hand grips and railing.

4. Adjust and lubricate all hinges and latches.

5. Test all navigational lights and replace color inserts if they appear faded.

6. Test the horn operation.


1. Repair all damage found on the bottom and cure all gel coat cracks.

2. Look for irregularities in structural design, including bulkheads and bilge areas.

3. If the old bottom paint is flaking, remove via sanding or hydro-blasting.

4. Paint the bottom. Use a high quality wax for the freeboard. Avoid waxing areas where passengers
and crew may walk.


1. Test the charging system, and repair or replace batteries as needed.

2. Clean all battery cable connections. Cover all battery cable posts to avoid shorts.

3. Check and tighten all wire connections and replace any cracked wires or any wires showing
a greenish color under the insulation.

4. Clean the fuse holder and check all fuses. If any fuses need replacing, make sure to use the
correct amperage ratings.

5. Check the grounding blocks for sound connections.

6. Examine and clean all power and antenna plugs and jacks.

7. Check all radar, navigational and communication antennas. Any breech in integrity will allow
water to seep in and may cause shorts.

8. Check the transducer by turning the sounder unit on and putting your ear to the transducer.
If the signaling circuit is operating, you should hear a humming sound.

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