Spring is a great time to get your watercraft ready for the upcoming boating season. There is a lot to do in terms of preparation after winterizing your watercraft during the off-season.
You can download our printable launch checklist here. We have put together a condensed of version of the checklist with last-minute, necessary tasks before launching your watercraft for the season. Read it below.
WATER PUMP IMPELLER
Replace your water pump impeller if needed. Keep in mind - they last only a few years. When not replaced, your engine can overheat.
Check all belts for wear and tear. A loose belt will show signs of tension.
Check the oil levels for steering mechanisms. A low oil supply will reduce outboard performance and damage pumps.
Check for decaying anodes. If an anode has disappeared, check other metal surfaces for galvanic corrosion. If your anodes have disappeared in one season, this may indicate a bigger electrical problem.
Look at the lower-unit lube level and condition. This should have been drained during the winterization process. If not, a change in oil color can indicate that water has infiltrated the seal. If this is the case, the lower unit can be damaged.
Check the propeller for dents. Excessive damage can cause vibrations, loosen screws and bulkheads, and ultimately damage the transmission.
CONTROL CABLES AND LINKAGES
Check control cable outer jackets and linkages. If the cables are corroded, they should be replaced. If they are not replaced, it could cause the cables to fail. Do not use lubricate as a quick fix.
Inspect the engine shaft and stuffing boxes for leaks. A defective stuffing box can lead to sinking. You can try to remedy the leak by tightening the nut. If that doesn’t work, try repacking the gland.
RUBBER OUTDRIVE BELLOWS
Check the rubber outdrive bellow for cracks or deteriorated areas. A cracked bellow can sink the watercraft.
Inspect the bilge pump by immersing it in water. Check that the switch works, and the pump can drain water correctly.
Check the fuel lines and fittings for cracks. Any fuel lines that show signs of damage should be replaced. In addition, fuel hoses should be double clamped.
Clean and fasten all electrical connections on the watercraft.
Check all of the U.S. Coast Guard required safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, personal flotation devices, visual distress signals, and more. For a complete list of the required safety equipment, reference our printable launch checklist.