The great spring weather is arriving in most areas of the country, and if you own a powerboat, then you are likely eager to get it out onto the water where it really belongs. Before excitement gets in the way of logic, be sure that your boat is really ready for the spring and summer, so you can enjoy your boat all summer without worries. Follow these tips, and you can then boat all summer long with no hassles that could arise if you are too eager and get out on the water without making sure your boat is really prepared for whatever comes its way. 

1. Inspect and Prepare Your Motor 

Your boat’s motor is one of the most important items to inspect before you get on the water, as you don’t want it to act up when you are far from the shore and leave you stranded in the middle of the lake or ocean.

You can, of course, hire a professional to inspect and prepare your motor for you, but if think you can do it yourself, then follow these guidelines for spring motor preparation:

First, change your oil filter and change your oil. While you likely performed both of these tasks before storing your boat for the winter, it is important to perform them again this spring. Make sure to check your owner’s manual to ensure you are using the appropriate oil, just like you would for a road vehicle. If you neglected to drain the oil before storing your boat for the winter, then instead drain the oil,  flush the tank, and check for corrosion before re-filling with fresh oil.

Then, it is time to re-install the batteries that you should have removed before the winter. Test them to ensure they are still working appropriately, and if not, then replacements are needed. 

Also, fill up that engine coolant tank with the appropriate coolant and fill all other fluid tanks, such as your drive engine coolant. 

2. Refill All Other Fluids and Inspect Fuel System

Now it is time to fill up your power-steering fluid reservoir and inspect your fuel system before fueling up. A faulty or damaged fuel system is another problem that can turn going out on the water into a dangerous experience instead of a fun one. 

If you winterized your boat properly, then you should have drained all the fuel from your boat before storing it. Follow these instructions created by the Boat Owners Association of the United States for inspecting your fuel system and lines before filling up for the spring. 

3. Inspect the Hull and the Rest of Your Boat’s Exterior

Once the engine and fuel lines are in good working order, it is time to focus on the exterior of your boat. First, inspect the entire hull of your boat to make sure there are no dents or other signs of damage. Look for cracking, blisters, and of course, holes. 

This guide for inspecting new boats before purchasing has some great photos of what types of problems you should be looking for in your hull. Remember that even if you don’t know what a particular issue you see with the exterior of your boat is, if you see anything out-of-the ordinary that popped up over the winter, it is best to have it looked at by a professional. 

Some types of exterior boat damage are more obvious than others, and if you know your boat, then you know what looks strange and could signal that it needs repair. 

4. Inspect Your Windshield

One of the most important inspections to perform this spring is an inspection of your windshield. The last think you want is to be riding out on the water full-speed ahead and have your windshield shatter if a small object hits it. While intact boat windshields are, of course, made to withstand small impacts, a windshield that is already damaged or deteriorating may not withstand this impact well. 

Also, attempt to push the windshield with your hand or move it back and forth. If it moves at all, then that signals that you need to have it re-secured to the frame, so it doesn’t rattle while you are out on the water. 

The Plexiglas boat windshields are usually made of also scratch easily, and if yours is covered in scratches that obstructed your view during the end of last summer, then start the new season with a fresh windshield that is scratch-free to keep you and your passengers much safer on the water. 

Before the great weather gets to your head and leads to you popping your boat onto the water before inspecting it thoroughly, remember to put safety first and always fully inspect and prime your boat before using it this spring. Small problems will only worsen over the summer as your boat is subjected to wear and tear on the water, so have any problems fixed now before it is too late.