Springtime Boat Maintenance Tips
If your boat has been sitting all winter and you're about to set out for an inaugural spring outing, there are several maintenance and check-up procedures to attend to. If you've left your boat outside covered up, or in your garage or other covered area, your task will probably be much more time-consuming as compared to those who stored their boats inside at a world-class facility like Premier Indoor Storage in Corona, Calif., where crews would be tending to your prized possession and doing the routine chores for you.
Here, then, is a list of steps to take and components to inspect and maintain on your boat before you take it out again:
1) Start with the engine. Change the oil and oil filter if you didn't do so at the end of the last boating season. Then flush the cooling system and replace it with a 50-50 ratio of water to antifreeze. Your batteries, which should have been left outside the boat on a trickle charge, should now be recharged to capacity -- or replaced if you didn't take the necessary storage precautions with them. (One blogger, who obviously left his boat outdoors, had this to say and let's hope it doesn't apply to you: "The first thing I check for on the engine is rodent (mice & chipmunk) problems. I’ve lifted the cowling more than once to find a mouse nest or stash of acorns some chipmunk has left for me. I do a visible check of all hoses and wires, looking for wear or rodent damage.")
2) Check the canvas and vinyl. Check all your seats, covers and other vinyl and canvas elements for tears, mildew and dirt. Clean properly, and if there are holes, patch them or replace the whole element.
3) Inspect the hull. Look for chips, cracks and blisters as well as any chalky residue. If there are cracks or blisters, repair them, and if there's a chalky build-up, this could indicate oxidation, which means you'll need to scrub the hull with a fiberglass cleaner and a strong oxidation removal agent. If the oxidation is too heavy, you may end up having to fine sand it. When the hull is clean, repaired and restored, then apply a fresh coat of wax.
4) Check the windshield wipers and apply a rubber lubricant for protection from the elements. You may even want to remove the wipers and stow them until needed for extra protection.
5) Polish the metal and teak elements known as brightwork. Not only will this improve the boat's aesthetics, but it will protect the wood and metal from corrosion and deterioration. If necessary, the teak may need to be sanded and then stained and varnished.
6) Test all electronics. If you have them, test the radio, GPS, depth finder and other marine electronics. If not working, get them fixed or replace them.
Now your boat should be ready for the water, but most of this work can be avoided by keeping it out of the elements and cared for by on-site maintenance crews at a place like Premier Indoor Storage. Indoor boat storage is the way to go for a major investment like yours, whether in Corona, Lake Elsinore, Riverside, Yorba Linda or elsewhere in Southern California.