How To Prepare Your Boat for the Spring Season

As spring warms up to summer, more and more people are getting ready to put a boat back in the water. Whether you are preparing for a season of slow trips up and down a river, actively seeking out lakes large enough to play on, or you’re preparing a larger vessel for saltwater excursions, there are a few seasonal maintenance steps to take. Of course, most large vessel owners get to leave this to a marina, whereas most boaters without a permanent slip rely on a DIY approach.

  • Clean windows and show surfaces in the passenger area and on the exterior of the boat above the water line
  • Check out all your safety equipment and accessories to see if any are worn out or broken so you can budget for their replacements
  • Test the electrical systems and batteries to be sure they are ready for the year
  • Clean and prepare the hull for a new season

When you check out your battery before the start of the season and find it is time for a new one, make sure you note whether the replacement you need is a starting battery, a deep cycle marine battery, or a dual-purpose build. It is also a good idea to note the capacity so you can find an exact replacement.

Check Your Battery

Checking out your boat’s battery is more than just a matter of seeing whether you can start the engine. That might work if you have a replacement on hand and you are just taking it out for the day, but it’s not enough to be sure your battery can last the whole season.

  • Look at the battery age and warranty
  • Check to see if it delivers power to the right systems
  • Take it to a shop or store that can test it
  • If you can’t take it anywhere, consider using a meter to check its electrical output while it runs the boat

Even if the battery puts out power as expected, you might want to consider replacing it if it is getting old. Batteries older than five years are more prone to unexpected failure than newer batteries, and every year after the fifth increases the risk it will happen. Check out your starting battery and deep cycle marine battery separately, and don’t assume both will last the same amount of time even if you bought them at the same time.

Get Rid of Any Old Pesky Stains

Hull cleaning and conditioning are also important in the spring. You will want to clean your windows and passenger areas regularly, but if you only put your boat in the water once per season, it’s the deep clean on the hull after winter storage that really matters.

Pressure washing is a great way to take off any buildup, barnacles, or mussels, and it is usually done before wintering. In spring, it’s all about eliminating stains and protecting the hull from wear and tear. As you shop for your new marine battery for the season, look for cleaning products and finishing solutions that protect your hull while removing old stains caused by long-term exposure to the elements. That way you can have your best fresh start this season.

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