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Thursday, July 27, 2023

Ready, Set, Launch: How To Prepare a Boat For Summer Launch!

Essential Tips for Safe Boating - From checking fluids to safety gear, these expert tips will keep your boat in top shape, ensuring a worry-free boating season ahead.

The moment that summer falls, millions of boat owners bring their boats out of winter storage. It’s essential to form and maintain a routine to ensure the boat is ready for the summer season.

Boat maintenance is crucial for the safety of the boat and the health of the boat. Boating involves risks and it’s important to be aware of them and do everything to prevent them.

Having a routine to maintain your boat regularly and prepping for potential hazards can help ensure everyone’s safety and allow more time for boating fun.

Implementing the tips below will lengthen the life of your boat, and make sure it’s working properly after being taken out of winter storage.

After Winter Months

During the winter, most boaters store their boats until the spring and summer months. This leaves the boats unused and left until the next boating season. If it’s stored in salt water it’s important to know the effects it can have and the boat preparation steps for the boating season.

Following the winter months, most boats experience temperature changes that can ruin the fuel hoses or other rubber parts.

The fuel left in the boat can make the breakdown and cause corrosion of electrical systems, electrical connections and metal parts. It’s important to either check on these important features yourself or schedule a service with a certified technician.


Prior to boating, it’s important to check any fluids on the boat, but especially important when boating for the first time in a while.

Most boaters check the fluids themselves and look for the engine oil reservoir, depending on what stroke motor the boat is equipped with, each boat may be a little different. While doing this step make sure to check all the fluid levels, the fuel tank, and the gas lines.


If a boat was sitting food for several months or more without being used, checking the battery is crucial. No one wants to get stranded because their battery died, or not have their boat start up.

Boats that feature electronics such as GPS, radar systems, and radios can drain the battery, and after using these features ensure to switch them off.

Before boating, inspect the battery itself and make sure there are no issues such as rust or corrosion, if they are present an easy way to fix that is to get a wire brush to clean and get a good connection to the battery.

Keep track of the last time the battery was replaced, batteries should be replaced around every 3-4 years.


If you’re a boat owner who hauls your boat with a boat trailer make sure that the trailer is ready to go as well.

The first thing to check is the lights, they need to be working to ensure overall safety when transporting the boat.

Double check the wheel bearings and greased and ready, and that the tires are in good shape to be hauling, as well as the power steering in the vehicle.

Safety Gear Check

When boating there is the necessary safety equipment that is required to be on board the boat at all times.

The coast guard requires that all boats have life jackets or vests per person on board, if the vessel is more than 16 feet, a throwable floatation device is required.

Approved fire extinguishers, a bell or whistle such as a horn, and at least three visual distress signals such as flares.

Items that aren’t required by the coast guard but still other boat owners recommend having on board are a first aid kit, extra fuel, a tool kit, a bucket used in case of bailing, oars or paddles, and an anchor.

Having a list of safety gear that is prepared each time will ensure a great time for boating.

Check The Pumps

The pumps keep the boat going and equipment must be checked each time before boating.

The bilge pump is a system that keeps excessive water from pooling into the boat, this component is necessary for the safety of everyone on board. If this pump fails to operate, the equipment inside the boat can flood.

Make sure that the bilge pump system is turned off after use because the motor can drain the battery if left on.

Check The Cooling System

The water pump and thermostat on the boat need to be working correctly to keep the engine cool for the proper functioning of the boat. Double-check each hose and make sure there aren’t any cracks, wear, or leaks. If there is any damage, replace the hose before boating to make sure it’s safe.


Boaters should remove and replace fuel filters regularly. Many boat owners have run into an issue with blended gasoline and it’s dissolving the debris that is in the gas tank.

Experts recommend changing the fuel filter frequently and checking on the fluid hoses. They also say to avoid purchasing gas that features ethanol.

Check Fuel Lines

A fuel system inspection is important to ensure it is functioning properly. The gas tank and fuel lines are some of the most sensitive parts that can easily rust or receive damage during the winter, unfortunately, there aren’t many ways to prevent fuel lines from cracking during the winter but they can be replaced if there are cracks or other damages.

Keep The Boat Clean

Alongside regular maintenance, it’s recommended to keep a cover on your boat when not in use. Leaving it exposed to weather elements can cause issues down the road. For example, the heat from the sun will speed up the oxidation process and leave the boat with poor paint and begin peeling and fading.

After coming back from the water, it's important to clean the boat every time before putting it away for storage or covering it. The salt, bacteria, sand, and more can affect the appearance of the boat and cause internal corrosion. Use a mild detergent or specialty soap to prevent major issues down the road.

Summarizing your boat is extremely important to ensure a safe summer boating season. These tips and maintenance should be done properly and on a regular schedule to ensure you have your boat ready for the summer.

If you are a boat owner who doesn’t feel confident in checking all these different things for the upcoming season, many boaters hire professionals who can perform all the tasks for you!

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