has been reprinted with permission from
Spring Into Boating With
To help boaters have a
trouble-free summer boating season, BoatU.S.,
the nation's largest recreational boating
association, has a spring commissioning
checklist. Whether you have an inboard or
outboard, following this checklist is an easy
way to get ready for the boating
BEFORE YOU LAUNCH:
Inspect and lubricate
seacocks. Hoses and hose clamps should be
inspected and replaced as necessary.
Replace deteriorated zincs.
Inspect prop(s) for dings, pitting
and distortion. Make sure cotter pins are
secure. Grip the prop and try moving the
shaft - if it's loose, the cutlass bearing may
need to be replaced.
· Check to
make sure the rudderstock hasn't been bent.
Inspect the hull for blisters,
distortions and stress cracks.
Make sure your engine intake sea strainer is
free of corrosion and properly secured.
Check the engine shaft and rudder
stuffing boxes for looseness. After the boat is
launched, be sure to check these as well as
through-hulls for leaks.
· Use a
hose to check for deck leaks at ports and
hatches. Renew caulk or gaskets as
· If equipped, ensure
that stern drain plug is
OUTDRIVES and OUTBOARD
· Inspect rubber
outdrive bellows for cracked, dried and/or
deteriorated spots (look especially in the
folds), and replace if suspect.
Check power steering and power trim
oil levels. Replace worn-out zincs.
Inspect outer jacket of control
cables. Cracks or swelling indicate
corrosion and mean that the cable has to be
· Inspect fuel lines,
including fill and vent hoses, for softness,
brittleness or cracking. Check all joints
for leaks and make sure all lines are well
supported with non-combustible clips or straps
with smooth edges.
ENGINES AND FUEL
· Inspect fuel
tanks, fuel pumps and filters for leaks.
Clamps should be snug and free of rust.
Clean fuel filters.
cooling hoses and fittings for stiffness, rot,
leaks and/or cracking. Make sure they fit snugly
and are double-clamped.
few years, remove and inspect exhaust manifold
· Clean and
tighten electrical connections, especially both
ends of battery cables. Wire-brush battery
terminals and fill cells with distilled
· Inspect bilge blower
hose for leaks.
Inspect tire treads and sidewalls for cracks or
lack of tread and replace as necessary.
Check air pressure. Don't forget the
· Inspect bearings and
repack as necessary.
· Test tail
and back-up lights. Test winch to make
sure it's working properly.
Inspect trailer frame for rust. Sand and
paint to prevent further
Check expiration dates on flares
and fire extinguishers.
stove and remote tanks for loose fittings and
· Inspect bilge
pump and float switch to make sure it's working
· Inspect dock and
anchor lines for chafing.
Update or replace old charts, waterway
· Check shore power
cable connections for burns, which indicates the
cable needs to be replaced.
Make sure your boating license and/or
registration is up-to-date. Don't forget
your trailer tags.
· Review your
boat insurance policy and update coverage if
needed. Be sure you have fuel spill
· Make sure
you have a properly sized and wearable life
jackets in good condition for each passenger,
including kids and pets.