Spring Boating Checklist

Fishing Rod

Boat Checklist

Here is our brief checklist that we recommend to our customers.

  • Documents: review your license, registration, etc. 
  • Life Jackets: always check your Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) to ensure that they are in good condition and that there are enough for everyone. It is also important to ensure that each individual has the correct size PFD for their body weight. The PFDs should be in good condition.
  • Fire Extinguisher: ensure any fire extinguishers you have on board are fully charged and mounted in the proper place and are the correct class of extinguisher for your vessel.
  • Plugs: make sure that all drain plugs are in place tightly and that any rubber seals or gaskets are in good condition and haven't cracked or dried out over the storage season.
  • Battery: clean and inspect all battery connections. Also check the date on the battery and make sure it is no older than three years.
  • Hoses and Clamps: take a look at all hoses and clamps and replace as necessary - a quick inspection is worthwhile, especially on larger motors.
  • Propellers: always inspect your propellers for dings and cracks. Damaged propellers can cause vibration and damage to your drive train. Make sure any connectors, such as cotter pins, are secure and grip the prop to see how loose it is. It is not uncommon to have to replace bearings when loose shafts are found.
  • Water pump impellers: water pump impellers should be replaced every two years.
  • Hulls: look for blisters, distortions and cracks. 
  • Outboards and Outdrives: visually inspect your outdrive bellows and make sure they are not cracked, dried or deteriorated. Pay careful attention to the folds and replace any that are questionable.
  • Fluid Levels: check all of your fluid levels, from engine oil to power steering and power trim reservoirs. Also don't forget to replace any worn out zincs.
  • Cables: a simple inspection of the outer jacket of your control cables will let you know if you have to take immediate action. Make sure there are no cracks or swells and look for corrosion. This is an area where you want to pay special attention, especially if you see signs of deterioration.
  • Fuel Lines: inspect fuel lines as best you can.  Check very closely every spring, including fill and vent hoses. Look specifically for softness, brittleness or cracking. 
  • Fuel filters: check and replace all fuel filters due to the ethanol added to gasoline. It eats everything!
  • Fuel Tanks: check your tanks annually.
  • Electrical Connections: inspect as many electrical connections that you can for cleanliness and tightness. Corrosion is often a sign that your connection may not be a good one.
  • Bilge Pumps: check for leaks and for float switch operation as well as corrosion.
  • Blower: check your blower in the bilge to make sure it is operating correctly.Fishing Lure

Trailer Checklist

  • Trailer Tires: inspect tire treads and sidewalls for wear, cracks and replace as necessary.
  • Tire Inflation: ensure that you have the appropriate air pressure for your tires and don't forget the spare!
  • Bearings: inspect bearings and repack if necessary.
  • Trailer Lights: inspect all trailer lights, brake lights, turn indicators and don't forget the reverse lights.
  • Trailer Winch: have a look at the winch and cable or strap. All can wear and become dangerous in time.
  • Trailer Frame: we encourage inspection of all the working parts and electrical system of the trailer, however, don't forget the trailer itself. Look for rust and action accordingly.

Fishing Lure

Miscellaneous Checklist

  • Flares and Fire Extinguishers: every spring, before you head out, you should check your safety equipment, especially flares and fire extinguishers for expiration dates and pressure, if appropriate. Give extinguishers a bit of a shake to keep the powder loose.
  • Ropes and Lines: have a quick look at your lines - make sure they are not damaged, chafed or deteriorating, and replace as necessary. Keep lines untangled and coiled for ease of use.
  • Charts and Maps: examine your charts and maps - update or replace as necessary.
  • Paperwork: make sure your boating license and/or registration is current. Make sure you have current trailer tags, if applicable. Also, spring is a good time to make sure you have insurance!
  • Life Jackets: life jackets are critical, especially in the more northern locations, since the water can often be deadly cold in the spring. Properly sized and wearable life jackets that are in good condition must be on board for every passenger, especially children.
  • Kill Switch: check to see if your kill switch is working properly.
  • Emergency Lights: your emergency lights and signal devices should be inspected and make sure you have new batteries.
  • Running Lights: make a quick check to see if all of your running lights are working.

Fishing Lure

 

 


 

1470 Dwight St. Holyoke, MA 01040 | Phone (413) 534-8000 - Fax (413) 534-8080