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Spring Commissioning

Whether you haul out for the winter or are lucky enough to live in a climate with year-round access to water, spring is the ideal time for tuning, toning, tightening and brightening to assure trouble-free boating in the peak season soon upon us. Here is a check-list you can use as a guide to get your boat ready for the season.

General Boat Items:

  • Fiberglass and gel coat repairs
  • Wash and polish
  • Bottom paint
  • Zincs
  • Loose screws (esp. rails)
  • Bright work
  • Electrical circuits, bulbs
  • Fuel tanks filled
  • Life saving equipment
  • Canvas tops, curtains
  • Fenders and dock lines
  • Mooring
  • Registration #s and current sticker
  • Outer drain plug
  • Inner drain plug
  • Owner's manual
  • Keys

Engine Items - Outboards, Inboards, and I/Os

Here are some other things you should check in your engine, unless they were part of your list when winterizing:

  • Tune up or overhaul
  • Oil
  • Transmission
  • Test run
  • Compression, spark
  • Carburetor (signs of varnish?)
  • Clean battery case/ terminals/cable ends
  • Add distilled battery water; apply corrosion inhibitor terminals
  • Battery clamp or strap
  • Flange nuts, not wing nuts, on cables
  • Change spark plugs
  • Thermostats
  • Pressure relief valve
  • Secondary fuel filter
  • Replace water separator
  • Clean/lube starter
  • Oil tanks (water, dirt, filters)
  • Bleed oil injection system
  • Lube (dirt or water)
  • Water pump
  • Seals on prop shaft and under pump
  • Prop: repair/balance as needed
  • Top off gear lube, check washers
  • Shift shaft
  • Paint

Mechanical Items

  • Dash gauges
  • Fuel gauges
  • Blower
  • Water pump
  • Controls
  • Steering
  • Bilge pump (auto and manual)
  • Power tilt
  • Hoses/clamps
  • All belts
  • All thru hulls
  • Battery installed charged
  • Lights
  • Horn
  • Wipers
  • Compass
  • Fire extinguisher installed charged
  • Radio
  • Fathometer

For more boat maintenance tips and "how to" advice, visit the Boat Maintenance & Repair section of the ABA website.

A final word of caution, whether you use a mechanic to do your spring commissioning or you do it yourself, make sure your drain plugs are in place before launching!

The American Boating Association
PO Box 882196
Port St. Lucie, FL 34988
Tel: 614-497-4088

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