Pre-Season Boat Service Checklist
We know it’s been a while since your last boat ride of 2016, but we’d like you to think back to some of those final days aboard this past season.
Here are some notes that may help jog your memory regarding repairs and updates your boat might appreciate. If not yet on Pier 33’s “to do” list, order your needed boat services now, ahead of spring launch.
Make some notes and then contact Pier 33 Service Manager Brenda Krugh to schedule your desired services.
- How old are your batteries?
- Was your charging system working properly all season?
- When did you last change any engine belts or hoses, or at least inspect them for condition?
- When was your last engine oil & filter change? This should be done yearly or every 50 hours on most engines, whichever occurs first.
- Have you checked for engine oil leaks?
- How about your generator? Starting easily, recent oil, filter and impeller changes?
- When was your last engine impeller change? Water pump impellers tend to shrink or become brittle over time and lose their effectiveness. Don’t run hot – change your impellers to prevent a problem.
- Which engine gauges weren’t working when you put the boat away, any? Let’s find out why.
- How about your VHF radio, depth finder or other electronics and antennae. Does it all work?
- If your boat is a stern drive, when was your last stern drive service? Mercruiser Stern Drive Service should be performed yearly, to prevent costly failures later.
- When running, did you note any clattering or grinding in a hard turn? Does the trim and tilt work and read properly on your gauge?
- Did your engine die or near-stall when shifting in and out of gear?
- How old are your bellows and cables and do they show any signs of excess wear?
- If your boat is an inboard, when did you last have your shafts aligned? Order this for spring launch work.
- Is it time to tighten or re-pack shaft or rudder packings? How dry is your bilge? Poor packings can allow excess water to seep into your bilge and impregnate structural wood in stringers and bulkheads.
- Have you noticed any vibration while accelerating, or at certain speeds last season?
- When did you last pull & recon your props? Professionally tuned propellers can have a dramatic effect on fuel efficiency, performance and comfort.
- When did you last check all bilge pumps for proper operation? We want you to stay afloat!
- Are your blower vent hoses intact and are your engine blowers running properly?
- When did you last check other safety systems, such as nav & anchor lights, horn, windlass?
- When was your fire extinguishing system last inspected? Your hand-held extinguishers?
- We suggest an annual USCG Auxiliary safety inspection, early each season.
- Do all your comfort appliances, such as air/heat, toilet, fridge-icemaker, entertainment systems all work?
- Have you checked rail stanchions, cleats, chocks, thru-hull fittings, platforms and pulpits for integrity?
- Does any hardware need to be sealed or rebedded? Prevent moisture intrusion and future fiberglass problems by checking potential points of water entry yearly and correct these problems before they spread.
- When did you last have your topsides and hull buffed? Did your once-shiny gel have a chalky feel in the Fall? Gelcoat is porous and occasional buffing by a professional helps remove wax & contaminant build-ups, preserving your boat’s finish. Skipping a season, or two or three, means more work later and a perhaps permanent discoloration or loss of luster. Order a buff & wax.
- Have you checked your boat bottom lately? Most anti-fouling paints lose a substantial amount of effectiveness over the off season. You should start each season with a fresh coat, or at a minimum a good touch-up. If paint has flaked off, be sure to properly prep the areas to be painted or consult Brenda for a springtime sand-blast.
- Which pieces of canvas are ready for snaps, zippers, new isinglass, re-stitching or waterproofing? Stay dry in 2015. Get it done now, before you miss them during the season.