Tips For Preparing Your Boat For Sailing After Winter Storage
The birds are chirping, the trees are starting to get buds on them, the days are getting longer and the temperature is getting warmer. Ah, the signs of spring.
With the coming of spring comes the start of boating season. After a long, cold winter, you can't wait to get your boat out of the self storage unit in isolation it has been sitting in for months and get it back into the water. However, before you set sail, there are a few things that you are going to want to attend to in order to ensure that your boat is ready for the water and another fun-filled boating season.
Even though you probably cleaned your boat before you parked it in a self storage unit, you should really clean it before you put it back in the water. All those months sitting in storage, dirt, dust and other debris has undoubtedly built up on it. Use a vacuum, soft clothes and non-abrasive cleaning products to get the interior of your boat spic and span. To clean the exterior, give it a good power washing and apply a coat of wax to it. This is also a good time to apply a fresh coat of paint to the bottom of the boat to prevent barnacles from attaching to it and causing damage to the hull.
Tend to the Winches and the Anchor Windlass
The winches and the anchor windlass should get some special attention before you put your boat back into the water. Give them a good cleaning and be sure to apply a healthy amount of grease to them so that they can be used with ease when you hit the water.
Check out the Electrical Components
The electrical components of your boat need to be in proper working order if you want to avoid trouble on the open seas. Some key mechanical elements that you are going to want to tend include:
- Replacing the spark plugs
- Check all fluid levels
- Change the oil in the lower gear case
- Reconnect the fuel lines
- Check the hose clamps and tighten them or replace them, if needed
Assess Your Safety Situation
Safety equipment is a vital part of your boat and after it's been stored, you need to make sure that it is in good condition. Check that the first aid kits are fully loaded with all of the necessities and that they are easy to access. Make sure that the life preservers are in good condition. You should have plenty of flares on hand, and they should all be in good condition. Check that the fire extinguisher is in good shape and that it will work if it is needed.
With these tips, you can get your boat ready to set sail after winter storage and enjoy another fantastic boating season.