As spring slowly approaches, it’s time to start planning for boating season. In order to make sure your boat is safe and running efficiently, you must thoroughly inspect and address a number of items on your boat.
- Completely empty your tank of any gas that might have remained through the winter. When filling up with a fresh tank of gasoline, use a fuel treatment, such as Sierra’s eGuard, to ensure better fuel economy.
- Visually inspect the gas tank for any corrosion.
- Check the primer bulb and make sure it is firm and strong. Replace the bulb if you notice cracks or if it collapses.
- Since the cold weather can greatly deplete your battery, it’s important to allow it to fully recharge. You should also regularly change your battery every two years.
- Battery cells should be filled with distilled water.
- Visually inspect the terminals for corrosion. Clean them if needed.
OIL and LUBRICATION
- Replace the oil filter if it wasn’t done in the fall.
- Inspect the oil injection unit and clean or replace it if necessary.
- Inspect the prop shaft and lubricate it if needed.
- Re-lubricate all necessary parts.
- Check the condition of the lower-case oil. If the oil appears milky or cloudy, it is likely there is a leak in one or more of the lower unit seals. This should be addressed quickly, as water in the gear case can lead to expensive repairs.
- Check spark plugs and wires for damage. If one needs replaced, your chances are relatively high that another one will go bad soon after, so save time and replace them all.
- Check all electrical components.
- Inspect fuses and replace those that may have damage
- TIP: When you disconnect the ignition wires, be sure to remember the cylinders to which they correspond. With larger motors this can be especially important because the timing is set to fire the cylinders in a certain order.
- Pull off the propeller and inspect for any damage or fishing line.
- TIP: Make sure you keep track of the order you remove the washers, nuts, sleeves and adapters. This will ensure an easy reinstallation once you’re done.
- Inspect the anode on your engine and replace it if there appears to be heavy corrosion. An anode that is in good condition will keep the parts of your engine that sit in the water from corroding.
- If your boat has a hydraulic steering system like BayStar, SeaStar or SeaStar Pro, check the tilt and trim fluid for the proper fluid levels.
- Address any leaks prior to launching the boat.
- Inspect your boat’s steering, shift and throttle cable. If you notice any cracks or bulges in the outer jacket of the cable, this could indicate corrosion and warrants replacement of the cable prior to taking your boat out onto the water.
A spring tune-up of your boat can go a long way toward ensuring a trouble-free summer boating season and it is an essential part of spring maintenance for your boat!