Spring is coming! Get your boat ready!

With Spring temperatures predicted (finally) for the coming week, it is time to get the boat ready. It will only be a matter of time before you can put the boat in the water to find the fish or just lazily float around Barren River Lake. But, before you hook your boat and trailer up and head for the nearest ramp, there are a few things that you should do to get ready and avoid the embarrassment of being towed back to the ramp.

Find your Owner’s Manual
Dig out your Owner’s Manual. It will be helpful in getting your boat ready. If it does not include a check list for de-winterizing your boat, it will include a lot of valuable information to help you get it ready.
Change the Spark Plugs
It is time to change the spark plugs in your engine. It is a minimal expense to insure that your engine will fire every time that you ask it to. Before inserting the new spark plugs, check the spark plug holes for rust or water.
Lubricate the Engine
Your engine has been sitting all winter and now it is time for it to swivel and bounce through the water. You need to make sure that it is lubricated and ready to do so. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended lubricant.
Check the Hoses
Your boat’s hoses (most rubber) have been subjected to freezing temperatures (unless you have stored it in an inside facility) throughout the winter. Unfortunately, the cold may have caused many of the hoses to become stiff and brittle.
Check all Cables 
Check the cables for fraying, as well as pulled to the correct tension. It will be easier to replace them now than when the fish are biting.
Replace the Drain Plug
Much like your boat’s hoses, the drain plug may have also gotten stiff and brittle during the winter. It is better to replace it now than start taking on water in the middle of the lake. And, once you replace it, be sure and put it your boat before you put it in the water.
Check the Trim, Rudder, Shafts and Prop
Make sure that all of the “moving” parts of your boat are in good working order. If these parts are not in good working condition, be sure that you have a good paddle or two onboard.
Inspect Safety Equipment
Test your boat’s horn, running lights, flotation devices, and fire extinguisher. Be sure that all are in working order, just in case you need them. They are all required on operating boats. Make sure that you have enough (and correct size) personal flotation devices for the people that will be on your boat. Also, check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher.

Leave a Reply