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de-winterize boat for summer

How to De-Winterize Your Boat for Summer

After a cold winter and a rainy spring, it’s finally time for boating season. Summer on the water is just around the corner, and it’s time to start prepping your boat by de-winterizing! Before launching your boat, make sure that it’s ready for those days on the water. Boat maintenance and safety should be a priority. Proper maintenance and prepping for safety hazards can help prolong the life of your boat as well as help ensure the safety of those on board. Here are some tips on how to de-winterize your boat!

Check the Engine

After months of sitting around, your boat’s engine needs to be checked. You may need to do an oil change and change the oil filter before getting the boat back on the water. Also check the power steering fluids, coolant, levels, any leaks around the engine, and any cracks or wear in the fuel lines.

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Water Pumps

After doing all that prep to the engine, it’s time to check the water pump. The water pump helps prolong the life of your engine by pumping cool water to it. Make sure that water is flowing through the motor and that the thermostats are working as well.

Check the Battery

There are different types of batteries for boats – make sure you know which one you have on your boat. One common type is the flooded battery. For this type of battery, refill the battery with some distilled water before taking your boat out for the season. Check the volts and amps with a battery tester. You should also scrub away any dirt, rust, or other debris that may have built up. 

Inspect the Gas and Fuel Lines

The next step to help de-winterize your boat is to inspect the gas and fuel line. Months of storage could have caused rust and other damage. Make sure to check for any erosion. If needed, replace these lines before going out on the water.

Test Electronics

Double-check that all the electrical equipment is working properly. Test all the switches and knobs to ensure that everything is working as it should.

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Check the Belts

Over the winter, the belts around the engines and motors may have worn down. Feel for any tears on the belts. Look for black soot as this is a sign that you may need to replace the belts for new ones/ You can also push down on the belts to check the tension.

Safety Gear

One of the most important things to do is to check the safety gear on board. This includes:

  • Floatation devices
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Lights in the cabin and on deck
  • Signaling equipment

Check to see if there is enough safety equipment for everyone on board. Look to see if it has expired or not and if it has, replace it. You should also check for any damage that may have happened over the winter or the past boating season. 

If Needed, Bring Your Boat in

If you are unsure about how to de-winterize your boat, it can be best to consult a professional. They can help prepare your boat for summer and give you some peace of mind. Do not risk doing it yourself if you ever feel like you, or others, are in danger. The last thing you want to do is cause damage to your boat, or put yourself in harm’s way!

Check Your Boat Insurance

Before hitting the high seas, talk to your insurance agent about your boat insurance. They can help answer any question you have about your boat insurance policy. They can also help you find the right boat insurance if needed!

Once you de-winterize your boat, take it for a spin and have fun!

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