How to prepare for boating season

Spring is finally here. And you know what that means. It’s time to pack our things and hit the outdoors. And for you water sports enthusiasts, it’s time to uncover your boat and clean off the dust.

With the boating season being almost upon us, it’s time to hit the waters again. But, before doing that, we have to make sure that the engines work at their best and the boats look shiny and clean.



It’s time to prepare the buckets for washing, paint for painting, and tools to repair the broken parts and for general maintenance. Here are few tips on how to prepare your boat for this season.


Initial maintenance


Just as you do with your car, you should carry out checks and maintenance to your boat on a regular basis. Be sure that you check and change the oil, check the hoses for any damage, replace the spark plugs, and check all the filters.

The first thing you need to do is a quick visual inspection. Just go around and check if there are any punctures, scratches, holes. If there are any, make sure that you repair them as soon as possible.

Also, you should keep your boat clean and give it a good scrub a few times during the year. So, before placing it in the water, make sure that you give it a good wash. If you own a fiberglass boat, you should wax it as well. It will make the surface easier to clean and will prevent dirt building up on it.


Fire extinguisher


On every boat, there has to be an accessible and working fire extinguisher. And the extinguisher has to be approved by the US Coastal Guard. So, make sure that you get one or check if the one you have works regularly and it still within its inspection date.

I recommend you to check it once in a month, and have it inspected by a professional once a year, before hitting the water.


Make sure that you don’t test it by releasing a little amount of the agent. That may cause the extinguisher to leak out, they tend to be all or nothing.


Life jacket


Safety always has to be your number one priority when it comes to traveling by boat. Equally, as you take care of the maintenance of the vessel, you should take care of the safety equipment as well. There should always be more than one life jacket on board, one for each passenger.

Here are some tips on how to use and take care of life jackets:

  • Inspect the straps and the material of the life jacket, to check if it is in good condition.
  • Make sure it is the right size for the users. Each wearer has to have a life jacket that fits him. Otherwise, it may not support his weight, or he might fall out of it.
  • Always wear a life jacket! You cannot predict when something wrong will happen. So, for your safety, make sure that you wear it when you are on your boat. 

Carbon monoxide detector

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

Carbon monoxide is a very dangerous gas that may harm you, without you knowing about its presence. The gas is odorless and colorless, and it could affect you inside and outside the boat. It could come out from the boat outlets, ventilation, or even from other boats around.

It is critical to know how to detect the symptoms of poisoning from carbon monoxide, and how to react in those situations. But, to prevent putting the passengers in danger, make sure that you install a detector on the boat. A carbon monoxide detector will detect any presence of the gas.

Navigation lights and wires


Make sure that everything on the driving board works and it’s in good shape. Check every light, and replace them if they are broken. Always have spare bulbs for every light on the boat, to change it if needed.
Also, make sure that you check every wire on the boat, from power sources to sockets. The wires and switches need to be clean and in good working condition.


Boat trailer

To take your boat to the water you’ll have to use a trailer for transporting it unless it is already docked in water. Make sure that your trailer is in good shape as well.
Your trailer needs to be in good shape, or you might face one of these problems:

  • flat tire
  • problems with axle
  • suspension problems
  • wheel bearing failure
  • etc.



So, before hitting the water for refreshing and fun trips, make sure that you have everything checked and prepared on your boat. With everything ready to go, you will have a great, carefree trip.


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tomi-stojanovik is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival