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Spring Boating Checklist

Get Your Boat Ready for the Water

Each year in the winter months, boats around the world are prepped for storage and winterized. As the winter begins to fade away, however, the excitement for boating and jet skiing comes full circle and boat owners start getting their baby ready to hit the water again.

Below is a check list that can be used during your annual preparation to get back on the water. Make sure your boat is ready to launch this spring with the follow Boating Checklist. Be sure to consult your watercrafts owner’s manual for additional, specific instructions.


  • Do a general cleaning of hull, deck and topsides using a mild detergent
  • Clean windows and hatches
  • Make sure drains and scuppers are clear
  • Clean and polish metal with a good metal polish
  • Put on a good coat of wax
  • Clean interior including bilges
  • Clean teak and oil
  • Check spare parts and tools and replace as necessary
  • Clean canvas, bimini and dodger
  • Check and replace wiper blades if necessary
  • Make sure registration is current and onboard


  • Check rudder and fittings
  • Check for blisters and refinish is necessary
  • 6Inspect and test trim tabs
  • Touch up or replace antifouling paint
  • Check rub rails
  • Check shaft, cutlass bearing, strut and prop
  • Check and replace zincs
  • Check for hull abrasions, scratches, gouges, etc. and repair
  • Check swim platform and/or ladder


  • Inspect anchor windlass and lubricate
  • Check hull/deck joint
  • Check deck, windows, and port lights for leaks
  • Check stanchion, pulpits and lifelines for integrity
  • Check and lubricate blocks, pad eyes, etc
  • Check ground tackle, lines, fenders, etc.
  • Check dinghy, and life raft
  • Clean and grease winches
  • Check chainplates and cleats


  • Check bilges pumps for automatic and manual operation
  • Check, test and lubricate seacocks
  • Check for oil in bilges
  • Check condition of hoses and clamps
  • Check limber holes and make sure they are clear of debris
  • Make sure below waterline hoses are double clamped


  • Check bonding system
  • Check battery water level
  • Inspect antennas
  • Check all electronics for proper operation
  • Check/recharge batteries
  • Check all lighting fixtures (including navigation lights) and make sure you have spare bulbs
  • Check shore power and charger
  • Check terminals for corrosion, clean and lubricate
  • Check for spare fuses
  • Test all gauges for operability
  • Inspect all wiring for wear and chafe


  • Check fire extinguishers and recharge if necessary
  • Check navigation lights
  • Inspect life rings and cushions
  • Check charts and replace as necessary
  • Check and adjust compass
  • Check Pfds
  • Check radar reflector
  • Check distress signals and expiration date
  • Check and replace first aid supplies>
  • Sound signaling device
  • Check bailer and hand pump


  • Change oil & filters - have spare onboard
  • Check bilge blower
  • Record engine maintenance log, especially date & hours of last oil changes
  • Change oil & filters - have spare onboard
  • Check and clean water strainer
  • Check cooling system change coolant as necessary - have extra onboard
  • Check and change engine zincs
  • Check and clean backfire flame arrestor
  • Check impeller
  • Check transmission fluid
  • Check belts for tension


  • If equipped with treatment system, have chemicals on hand
  • Y-valve operation checked, valve labeled & secured
  • Checked for smooth operation - lubricate and clean as necessary


  • Check and clean shower sump pump screens
  • Check hot water tank working on both AC and engines
  • Flush water tank
  • Check water system and pump for leaks and proper operation
  • Check for tank cap keys on board


  • Clean stove, check that all burners and oven are working
  • Fill propane tank, check electric & manual valves, check storage box vent to make sure it is clear
  • Check microwave, if fitted
  • Check refrigerator, clean and freshen, operate on AC and DC


  • Check plug wires for wear
  • Replace spark plugs
  • Change/fill gear lube
  • Lubricate and spray moveable parts
  • Inspect fuel lines, primer bulb and tank for leaks
  • Check prop for nicks and bends


  • Check for current registration
  • Test lights and electrical connections
  • Check and lubricate wheel bearings
  • Check tire pressure and condition
  • Clean and lubricate winch
  • Lubricate tongue jack and wheel
  • Check safety chains
  • Check tongue lock
  • Check brakes (if equipped)
  • Check rollers and pads


  • Inspect bolt rope
  • Check general condition
  • Check all sail attachments
  • Look for wear and chafing
  • Check battens and batten pockets


  • Check reefing points and reefing gear
  • Check mast and spreaders for corrosion or damage
  • Check and lubricate roller furling
  • Inspect spreader boots and shrouds
  • Check rigging, turnbuckles and clevis pins for wear and corrosion
  • Check forestay and backstay connections
  • Inspect stays for fraying and "fish hooks
  • Inspect rivets and screw connections for corrosion
  • Check halyards and consider replacing or swapping end for end
  • Tape turnbuckles, cotter pins, and spreaders
  • Clean sail track
  • Check masthead fitting and pulleys

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