It may be cold out now, but warmer weather will be back before you know it! Before you can hit the water this spring, you’ll need to perform a few routine maintenance tasks, especially if you missed them when you stored your boat for the winter. Luckily, we have the tips to help you be prepared for the next season and the products to make your outboard engine run the way it’s supposed to.
Think about these steps in advance so your boat will be ready that first warm day of the season.
The Hull and Propellers
Once you pull the cover off your boat, check the hull for cracks and the interior for any pooling water. Moisture can cause mold growth on your seats. If you notice mildew or musty odors, get ready to do some deep cleaning.
Next, check your propellers for dings, cracks, or distortion. A damaged propeller can cause unwanted vibration to your drive train.
Finally, don’t forget to make sure the drain plus is securely in place.
Be sure to check the battery compartment. Clean and tighten electrical connections and test the battery to make sure it’s fully charged before you hit the water. Be sure to inspect your battery for:
- The dates on the battery
- The acid level
- The charge
- Any corrosion on wires
If you notice cracking or corrosion on any of your belts, cables, or hoses, it’s important to address the problem before spring.
Your Outboard Motor and Fuel System
If you didn’t change your marine oil in the fall, you’ll need to do it before you hit the water this spring. The reason we recommend changing oil in the fall is because if water gets into your engine oil and freezes, it can damage your boat. If your oil is the color of milk chocolate, you may have a bad seal that allowed water in. Replace it as soon as possible!
As you prepare for spring,
- Change lower unit oil.
- Check engine oil in your 4-stroke motors.
- Top off fuel in 2-stroke motors.
- If you notice that your oil is dirty, change it before you take your boat out for the season.
- Change your hydraulic trim fluid if you didn’t over the fall.
- Replace the water pump impeller if necessary so your engine does not overheat.
- Check belts for tension or wear.
- Change oil filters and drive lubricants if necessary.
Inspect your fuel lines, including fill and vent hoses, for brittleness or cracking. Before you take your boat out, check for any fuel leaks.
Lights and Power
As you check your switches, listen for any problems. Don’t forget to check your lights and power trim, too. You’ll want to make sure your navigation lights are fully functioning before you take your boat out.
Remember to check and top off all your fluid levels, including your power steering, power trim reservoirs, and cooling. Low levels of steering and power-trim oil can damage your pumps and cause reduced performance.
Safety Gear and Registration
Before anyone steps foot in your boat, you should make sure you have enough safety equipment. Are your life jackets in good condition? You should have working flares and a fire extinguisher on board before the next season.
Now is also a good time to check your registration and make sure everything is up to date.
Finally, check your trailer. Is your tire pressure correct? There’s nothing worse than having an immaculate boat and no way to get it to the dock!
Rely on DOMO Online for All Your Boating Needs
If you need outboard marine oil, fuel treatment, or any other supplies before spring, let us know! We have the products you’re looking for at unbeatable prices.