How to Get Your Boat Ready for Spring

One of the great things about Florida is that we have friendly weather nearly year-round. But even with the mercury occasionally hitting 80 in January, a lot of boaters put away their rides for the winter.

If you’re among those eagerly awaiting warmer weather, one great way to occupy yourself is with some routine maintenance and preparation. That way, when the sun returns full-time, you won’t miss a minute of it.

Here are a few key things to check:

Check your Hoses: This may be the most important item on this list. Sitting without use can be hard on fuel lines and other rubber or rubberized system components, so before you head back out, check all hoses, belts, and cables for brittleness, cracking, tears, and holes. Worn belts may be visibly loose against their wheels, or leave traces of black dust when touched. Worn cables may look swollen, twisted, or assymetrical. Replacing these will help you avoid much more serious problems!

Freshen Your Engine: Oil can settle and lose its viscosity when left to sit. Before spring, change your oil and oil filters – and while you’re at it, check and refill your steering fluid and coolant.

Go On Rust Patrol: Hopefully, you made sure your boat was free of salt water and residue before you stored it for the winter. But give it a careful once-over anyway – check for any rust on things like tank surfaces and controls, which could lead to long-term damage if not checked. Even more important, look for rust on propellers, shafts, and hull, which can indicate electrical problems.

Test Your Equipment: Sensitive electronics like GPS and radar systems can fail when in storage. Turn them on and give them a whirl before you find yourself in a tricky spot offshore.

Clean and Polish: Nobody likes a dirty boat. Even sitting under cover or inside, your fittings and surfaces will lose their shine and pick up dust and dirt. Then there’s the big kahuna – waxing your hull. This Wikihow article gives a solid overview of how to remove your old wax and give your boat a like-new shine.

Update Your Insurance! Yep, you guessed it. If it’s been a while since you looked at your boat’s insurance coverage, now’s a great time to assess what you have, what you need, and whether you can find a better deal. Scarr Insurance can help you examine your coverage and look at options. So, once you’re done with all the polishing, patching, and touch-ups, give us a call at 1-800-299-5055.

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