Spring Boat Checklist: Preparing Your Boat for the Spring Season

Spring Boat Checklist: Preparing Your Boat for the Spring Season

With the ice beginning to thaw, millions of boaters are looking to get back out onto the water. If you properly winterized your boat over the past few months, you should have little to worry about. However, there are still some extra steps that need to be taken before you take your boat out for your first trip. An inspection, tune-up, and cleaning of your boat is required if you want to avoid being stranded out in the water. Not sure where to start? Then follow our spring boat checklist below to ensure that you look over every part of your boat.

Engine and Fuel System

  • Checks for leaks or damage in the fuel hoses, connections, and/or tank surfaces
  • Replace the engine and transmission cooler zincs
  • Check the engine’s fluids, cooling, and oil pressure
  • Inspect the oil cooler for leaks
  • Verify all fittings and clamps are properly secured
  • Replace the air filter
  • Replace heater plugs
  • Inspect engine mounts
  • Check for excess water in the bilge

Belts, Cables, and Hoses

  • Check to see if any of the belts, cables, or hoses have become brittle or cracked
  • Keep an eye out for black residue near the pulley (this is a sign of a worn belt)
  • Look to see if there are cracks or swelling on the outer jacket of the throttle, shift, and steering control cables

Electrical System

  • Test all buttons, switches, and other electronics to ensure that they’re functioning
  • Test the battery and charge it if needed
  • Check over the electrical connections to make sure that they’re clean, tight, and corrosion free. If some are corroded, replace these immediately, and apply anti-corrosive product to those that are not.

Propellers and Hulls

  • Check the propellers for any damage, cracks, or distortion
  • Clean the hull, deck, and topsides
  • Check the hull for blisters, distortions, and cracks, repairing if need be
  • Clean the propeller
  • Replace raw water pump impellers and gaskets

Water System

  • Test the water systems and remove all non-toxic antifreeze
  • Replace the holding tank filter
  • Fill the water tank

Fluid Levels

  • Check all fluid levels including engine oil, power steering, power trim reservoirs, and coolant
  • If you did not winterize your boat, be sure to change the engine oil, oil filter, and drive lubricants


  • Clean the exterior of any dirt or grime that built up during the winter season, as well as the swim platform, boarding ladder, and boarding step
  • If the exterior paint has chipped or faded, repaint as needed
  • Clean and polish all metal parts, windows, and hatches

Safety Check

  • Make sure that you have the proper amount of life jackets for all potential passengers, checking to see if they are in good condition and the proper size for each individual
  • Check your onboard fire extinguisher to see if it’s still working and is the correct class for your boat
  • For enclosed or semi-enclosed areas, install and/or check your carbon monoxide detectors
  • Adjust your windshield wipers and replace the blades if needed

Once you’ve completely inspected and cleaned your boat, it’s time to get out onto the water. Here at V-Dock, our roll-in docks are great for any occasion. Simple to install and remove, they’re also protected by our patented Poly-Deck, so you won’t have to worry about cracking, fading, or wearing wood. Give us a call today at 1-888-888-DOCK to learn more.

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