Make sure your boat is ready for boating season with these quick tips. We continue our Boat Ready series with maintenance and safety checks.
Check the prop for nicks and, if small, use a small grinder to smooth them out. Of course, a bent prop or big nicks mean a new prop must be purchased immediately. Do not run your engine over idle speed with a damaged prop because the vibration will damage the engine.
While looking at the engine, consider replacing the oil in the lower foot.
This is a good time to change the oil in the outboard foot if it has been awhile. It’s not hard or expensive to do and it protects the gearing in the foot.
Spray some lube on your steering, throttle and gearshift cables. It is easy to do. Check all your required safety gear: a fire extinguisher, life jackets, lights and a noisemaker. Take a long rope to tow, hopefully to tow others, but it might be to tow you.
Always carry a charged cellphone. Also consider keeping a pocket GPS on board as well. Being small, you can carry it on my Jet Ski, motorcycle and boat. Besides, it is the only real way to check your gas mileage.
For boat storage: The worst thing you can ever have in a stored boat is … water. Boats hate water! When a boat is stored, wash it, use a wet/dry vacuum to dry it out, and then leave it open for a week to really dry it out. This makes a big difference on the life of all components, especially the electrical ones.
Also for storage, always cover your boat with a sheet of plastic. Even if you have a cover, still use the sheet of plastic, as this makes a lot of difference in protection. This will triple the life of your boat.
See you on the water!