Spring Haul-Out Service: 4 Areas Of The Boat That Need To Be Focused On
Whether you're a year-round boater or you're just getting your boat ready for the summer, spring is the time that you need to focus on any issues that may be cause you problems down the road with your boat. This includes things with the structural, running gear, mechanical and electrical systems. Not only will this save you time and money later, but it will ensure that you are safe and that you have a pleasant experience when you get out on the open water. Regardless of whether you decide to do these tasks on your own or have a professional haul-out service do it for you, here are four areas that need to be a priority:
1. The Hull
When you haul-out your boat, the first thing you'll want to do is give the hull a good power-washing. You'll want to also power-wash the prop shaft (lower unit), propellers and trim tabs. Make sure to take the time to examine the hull as well as the gelcoat for any blisters, cracks and other damage. Most minor scrapes and dings can be repaired yourself, but gelcoat blisters and other major damage will likely need to be repaired by an expert. Through-hull fittings, engine-water intakes and grates need to be inspected to ensure they're free of debris and barnacles to avoid any future issues. If your running gear and hull needs to be painted, now is a good time to do so.
2. The Topside
Test your navigation lights, including the stern light, sidelights and masthead, for adequate operation. Ensure the lenses are secure and watertight. Give the topside a good power-washing. If you notice that the boat has a dull finish, you may want to use a compound on it and finish it with a wax to restore its bright, shiny finish. Brightwork may also need to be stripped and re-varnished if it has sustained sun damage. The ground anchor should be inspected and any rusty shackles and worn lines should be replaced.
The bilge needs to be inspected and cleaned so that all oils, water and debris are removed. The bilge pumped should be tested for proper functioning. The battery needs to be removed from its holding and charged before reinstalled. The battery terminals should be thoroughly cleaned and sprayed with a corrosion inhibitor. Be sure to check the fuel pump, fuel lines, spark plugs, hoses, clamps, etc. for any signs of damage. Make sure to repair or replace as you see fit.
4. Safety Equipment
Locate your fire extinguishers and emergency flares. Check the expiration dates to ensure that they are still up-to-date. Service or replace as necessary. Ensure that all life jackets and other life-saving devices are intact and ready to be used if necessary.
For assistance, talk to a haul-out service.