Don't wait until the last minute to prepare your boat for spring
Before you launch
• Inspect the fuel system for leaks, wear or damage.
• Charge and reinstall batteries.
• Flush the antifreeze from the freshwater tank and add fresh water.
• Hook up the hot water tank if it was bypassed during
• Check the electrical and other systems.
• Start the engine and check the gauges.
• Change the oil and filter (if not done during winterizing).
• Open the seacocks and inspect and lubricate them.
• Reattach any hoses that were removed during winterization.
• Pump or drain the bilge dry.
• Check belts, cables, hoses and hose clamps.
• Check your dock lines and ground tackle.
• Reinstall and test your electronics, including the GPS and depth sounder.
• Inspect your trailer and its lights and wiring, tires and tire pressure, and rollers.
• Inspect the trailer’s wheel bearings and repack them, if necessary.
• Keep your towing insurance current.
After you launch
• Lift the hatches and check to see that the boat is watertight.
• Check the engine shaft and rudder stuffing boxes.
• Recheck the bilge pumps.
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This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue.