Pre-Season Boating Maintenance Checklist

Spring and summer seasons can be the perfect weather for boating. As the temperature starts rising, so does the excitement levels of boating enthusiasts. After all, what can be more enjoyable for them than spending a whole day on the water?

However, this excitement can go away in a snap when you find your boat broken down. This is the exact reason why proper pre-season boat maintenance is crucial. As a boat owner, it is your responsibility to keep your watercraft in perfect condition before you hit the water.

Photo by W.S. Coda on Unsplash

To help you out with this aspect, we have mentioned a complete boat maintenance checklist you can follow before taking your boat back out on the water. Keep reading to find out useful insights.

  • Prepare Your Safety Equipment

Your safety equipment is your saviour when you are on the water. Make sure to inspect and replace all the safety equipment for your water ride. This includes life jackets, life rings, signalling devices,  and any first aid supplies that can help you on the water.

Along with these things, you will also need to check the electronic equipment on your boat. GPS and radio equipment, for example, is important to inspect. If this equipment is not operational, it is advised to reinstall it.

  • Maintenance tips

Always read and follow the directions in your owners ’manual. The marine engine owner’s manual outlines basic maintenance procedures and has a schedule for regular maintenance.

  • Engine

When it comes to your engine, the heart of your vessel, you should always change the oil frequently. Check and replace any belts and or hoses that appear to be deteriorating. Flush your engine with fresh water after operating in salt water and watch for the beginning of corrosion. Change all fluids on a recommended schedule or at least once each season. Keep shafts and props in clean and good working order. Following these guidelines will be sure to help keep your vessel in proper working order for a long time and avoid any costly repairs due to neglect.

  • Batteries

Check your batteries and battery cables before every outing. Use a battery maintenance charger for extended periods of non-use. Replace your battery every four to five seasons. Check that the battery cables are tight on the battery terminals. A loose cable could be the only reason your engine won’t start, or can’t keep the battery charged.

  • Gasoline

Ethanol-blend gasoline has caused all kinds of headaches for boat owners. The best fuel choice for your boat is always going to be fuel with no ethanol. Use a marine-specific fuel stabiliser to prevent oxidation and phase separation.

  • Oil

It is recommended to check your engine oil level before every outing, always using a quality marine engine oil, never automotive oil.

When you are done with all these maintenance tasks, make sure to check all the associated paperwork, such as insurance and any other necessary paperwork to operate your boat. Most importantly ensuring you have your mandatory boating license. Checking this will help you ensure that you are safe and ready to enjoy the boating season ahead.




About Joel Levy 2586 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography