As the weather warms up, you start to think about pulling your boat out of storage. Whether you’re looking to cruise, to angle, to tow watersports users or simply adventure around your local waterways, your boat is there to provide you with all kinds of summer fun on the water. However, you can’t just drive your craft from winter storage to the docks without some maintenance!
Dewinterizing your boat will allow you to check for signs of damage and address any problems so you won’t have any malfunctions on your maiden spring voyage. Tom-N-Jerry’s Boat Center, located in Mount Vernon, is here to help demystify the dewinterizing process so you can get your craft out on the sound or the river as soon as possible!
As soon as you remove your boat’s cover and pull it out of storage, you’ll want to walk around it and give it a thorough inspection, inside and out. On the exterior, look over the hull to check for any damage sustained while the craft was in storage or any damage you might have missed in the fall. You’ll want to get this addressed as soon as possible, and the maintenance team at Tom-N-Jerry’s Boat Center will be happy to help if you give us a call!
Look through the interior of your boat as well, checking for mold or mildew buildup on carpets or cushions. Make sure there haven’t been any pest infestations during the winter, since mice, bugs and other creatures can leave a lot of damage in their wake that you’ll need to clean up.
You should give the exterior of your boat a thorough wash and ideally wax it to protect it from sun and salt damage. Sweep out the interior of your boat to get out dead leaves, dust and debris. Clean all the glass and wipe down control panels. Polish up chrome and clean any mildew out of canvas or cushions. A spruced-up boat is one that you and your passengers will want to use more!
It’s important that you read your owner’s manual to know what the proper start up procedure is for your particular model. Run your battery before you put your boat in the water to check your signals, lights and other systems. You should examine your engine before turning it on to see whether there are leaks around the gaskets and engine heads. You’ll also want to check fluid levels and change the oil as necessary. If you’ve left fuel in the tank for a while, drain it and refill the tank with fuel that has no more than 10% ethanol.
You likely removed all the essential paperwork from your boat before storing it for winter, so now you’ll need to get registration, licensing, logbooks and any other necessary items back on board and up to date. This also includes safety gear.
Restock your first aid kit with fresh medications and bandages. Make sure your fire extinguisher hasn’t expired and is easily accessible.
Look over life jackets and other personal flotation devices for signs of damage before storing them on your vessel.
Replace emergency flares and make sure you’ve got your emergency radio, paper charts, a compass, your GPS and any other necessary supplies back on board.
Seasonal boat maintenance doesn’t have to be a big headache if you follow these easy tips! However, if you find anything you can’t address yourself at home, don’t hesitate to contact the service and parts department at Tom-N-Jerry’s Boat Center so we can get you in for maintenance appointment before you hit the water. Tom-N-Jerry’s Boat Center welcomes our customers coming from the general Seattle region, including those in the cities of Bellevue and Tacoma, Washington.