1. The Boat BatteryA battery check is simple insurance against needing to find a likely candidate to tow your vessel back to the dock. There a several types of battery testers available but be sure to use one for your 12-volt systems. Testing each battery you have on board is imperative, especially if they are over 3 years old. At this point, batteries can start to wear and not hold their charge as they did when new. You will see this in your deep cell trolling motor batteries so be sure to check them and if they need replaced, this investment can keep you worry free for a few more years.
2. The Fuel SystemJust as important as batteries, your fuel system should be given a quick check to ensure there are no cracked and leaking fuel lines. Not only will this affect your fuel system performance but can be extremely dangerous to onboard fires. Make sure you visually inspect the lines and fittings from the tank connection to the engine connection.
3. The Safety Equipment
4. The Onboard SystemsA quick systems check including navigation and anchor lights comes next. These often get corrosion built up on the pins during storage and may need a quick cleaning. Applying a LIGHT coat of petroleum jelly will protect these from corrosion without shorting out your lighting system.
5. Little CrittersDuring winter storage little critters may take up residence in your vessel. A quick visual inspection of your anchor and docking lines prior to your first launch of the spring can save you from an unwanted surprise at the dock or a lost anchor if something has chewed on your stowed lines.
6. The Boat Trailer
If you follow these few quick steps, you’ve gone a long way to enjoying your first outing of the spring and avoiding the frustrations of failed systems. I have followed this process every spring and have had many more than two favorite days of boat ownership. Happy Boating!