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  • Keenan Knight

Preparing Your Boat for Spring After Storage

group on a boat in the summer

As the weather gets warmer and summer starts approaching, boaters are ready to hit the open water. The time has finally come to dust off your boat, check the engine, and prepare for a season of fun and relaxation. 

De-winterizing your boat is important to ensure it's safe and working correctly for the upcoming season. 

Before it’s time to set sail, make sure your boat is ready with this guide on preparing your boat for spring & summer months. 

Step 1: Review Boating Documentation: Insurance, Licenses & Registration 

Check that your boat's registration, insurance, and boating licenses are current, even if it's still in boat storage. Check that you have all the necessary paperwork and documentation required for boating in your area. 

Make sure your boat registration, insurance, licenses, and permits are current and valid. Once you have all your paperwork in order, you can move on to the next steps in preparing your boat for the upcoming season.

Step 2: Inspect Boat Exterior for Damages

After taking your boat out of storage, check the outside surfaces of the vessel and note any damages. 

When inspecting your boat’s exterior, pay attention to these areas: 

  • Hull: Check the boat’s hull for any signs of damages, cracks, or rust. 

  • Propeller: Inspect the propeller for damage and ensure it spins freely.

  • Fittings: Look for any loose or damaged fittings, such as cleats, rails, or lights.

If you find any damages or signs of corrosion, it’s important to make those repairs before putting it in the water. Also be sure to clean any built up dirt and algae built up from last season. 

Step 3: Inspect Boat Interior for any Leaks 

Check inside your boat for any water leaks or damage in compartments, hatches, and storage areas. Check the bilge pump and hoses for proper functioning and look for any mold or mildew. It's crucial to address any leaks or water damage promptly to prevent further issues.

Step 4: Check the Boat Engine 

Preparing the boat engine for the boating season after winter storage is one of the most important steps of the process. 

It's a good idea to start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to make sure everything is running smoothly. If you notice any strange noises or issues, it's best to address them before hitting the water. 

When assessing a boat engine, here are some things you should look for: 

  • Check the oil levels and replace the oil filter if necessary. You should check the boat engine oil every 100 hours and at least once a year.

  • Inspect the spark plugs, fuel lines, and belts for any signs of wear or damage. 

  • Check coolant levels and top off if necessary 

  • Check power steering fluid levels, and top off if necessary 

  • Also, the boat battery should be fully charged. Clean the battery terminals and connections to ensure a good electrical connection.

Step 5: Check Electrical Systems & Equipment 

Test all lights, navigation equipment, communication devices, and other accessories to ensure they are all working. For an additional measure, inspect the wiring for any signs of wear or damage. 

Step 6: Deep Clean Boat After Storage 

Cleaning your boat, or getting it detailed, after being in storage is an essential part of basic maintenance. 

boater rinsing his boat exterior with a hose

Cleaning Your Boat’s Exterior

  • Hose down the outside of the boat thoroughly, paying attention to places with built up dirt, debris, or salt

  • Wax hull, hull bottom, and gel-coat surfaces for UV protection and shine 

  • Scrub down teak with soapy water and rinse 

  • Clean boat engine compartment and bilge area with a degreaser or engine cleaner

Cleaning Your Boat’s Interior 

  • Remove all items stored inside the boat (cushions, equipment, personal belongings, etc.)

  • Vacuum floors and carpets, seats, and compartment areas. 

  • Wipe down surfaces & scrub down spots with stubborn stains or mildew 

  • Rinse down interior and air dry 

  • Clean canvas covers and upholstery 

  • Polish metal and hardware 

  • Throw out unnecessary items found in the boat and reorganize compartments. 

Other than being nice to look at, a regular boat cleaning helps preserve its appearance, functionality, and value. 

Step 7: Do an Inventory of Safety Equipment Onboard

Ensure you have all required safety equipment onboard and in good condition. 

little kid with a life jacket on having fun on a sail boat

Safety Equipment you should have on board include: 

  • Life jackets 

  • Fire extinguishers 

  • Distress signals (flare gun, bull horn, etc.)

  • First aid kit

Assess the safety equipment you have from the years past. Check expiration dates on flares and extinguishers. Consider buying new life jackets or a first aid kit if it's been a while since you last got them.

By following this guide, you can ensure your boat will be in top condition and ready to take on this season! 

Are you looking for short or long term Boat/RV Storage in LaGrange, GA? Airport Storage & Trucks has both in-door and out-door options available! 

boat stored in covered storage area by airport storage & trucks


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