Spring is always an exciting time to explore the outdoors, and appreciate the environment and wildlife. Spring is also a particularly thrilling season for avid boaters, because it's the time of year you can bring your boat out of winter storage.
Prepare your boat for an enjoyable summer by taking the proper precautions when removing it from winter storage. Known as "summerizing," this simple process can extend the life of your boat and ensure your own safety and that of others during your first outing. In essence, summerizing your boat is simply a follow-up to the winterization process you went through last fall.
Follow this easy-to-use guide to summerizing your boat, and you will find yourself on the water and enjoying beautiful weather in no time.
Steps for summerizing your boat
Check your fluid levels - Just as you would check the fluid levels in your car after storing it for an extended period of time, you need to do the same for your boat. Dan Howells, a Cleveland area fisherman, avid Lake Erie boater, and former boat mechanic takes us through this process step by step.
"Check the power steering fluid and replenish it if it's low," he says. In addition, Howells recommends adding a fresh tank of fuel with the fuel-to-oil ratio specified in the owner's manual for your boat.
"While your boat is parked on dry land, drain the coolant into a bucket, pan or other receptacle," Howells explains. Next, connect a garden hose to the freshwater intake port located on the motor. "Start the motor. While it is running, fresh water will replace any coolant leftover from the winterization process," he adds.
Lubricate your wheel bearings - Because they go repeatedly from the hot sun to the cool water, your wheel bearings experience a lot of wear and tear during summer months. As a result, the wheel bearings on your trailer are easily stripped of grease over the course of the summer. Left ungreased, they will break. You will be not only left with repair costs, but also you will be unable to transport your boat to the water!
Inspect your wires and cables - Frayed battery cables can leave you stranded at sea and facing considerable towing costs. Avoid this situation by examining the wires and cables that connect to the batteries and electrical equipment. Check the wires on your trailer as well, since you could be ticketed for malfunctioning tail lights on your boat trailer, just like you can for your automobile.
Restock your safety equipment - Ensure that your fire extinguisher, flares and life jackets are replenished and up-to-date. Browse sporting-goods outfitters for additional safety equipment, including air horns specifically designed for marine use, emergency signal flags, bailing scoops and first aid medical kits.
Replace your drain plug - Finally, before you set out on your maiden spring voyage, replace the drain plug on your boat! Countless boat owners neglect to replace the plug at the last minute, resulting in serious damages and excessive water intake. With the excitement surrounding boating and returning to the water after a long winter, it's easy to understand how this can happen.
Enjoy your boat with your family and friends without having to worry about damages to your investment by making sure you have adequate boat insurance coverage. Contact a Nationwide agent today for a comprehensive boat insurance quote and expert recommendations care for your policy.
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