Before you launch
Spring commissioning tips for your boat
Before you launch your boat this spring, you should:
These are only a few of the steps you should take to prepare your boat for a safe boating season. To see a comprehensive checklist, click here.
- Inspect hose clamps and replace as necessary. Use marine-rated stainless clamps to double-clamp below-waterline connections, including all hose and fuel lines.
- Inspect cooling hoses for stiffness, rot, leaks and cracking. Make sure they fit snugly.
- Replace deteriorated sacrificial anodes.
- Inspect props for dings, pitting and distortion. Make sure cotter pins are secure. Grip the prop and try moving the shaft; if it’s loose, the cutless bearing (on inboard drive systems) may need to be replaced.
- Check the rudderstock to ensure it hasn’t been bent.
- Inspect the hull for blisters, distortions and stress cracks.
- Make sure your engine intake sea strainer isn’t cracked or bent from ice, and is free of corrosion, clean, and properly secured.
- For inboards, check the engine shaft and rudder stuffing boxes for looseness. A stuffing box should only leak when the prop shaft is turning and needs to be inspected routinely.
- Inspect and lubricate seacocks.
- Use a garden hose to check for deck leaks at ports and hatches. Renew caulk or gaskets as necessary.
- Inspect the bilge pump and float switch to make sure they’re working properly.
- Check the stove and remote tanks for loose fittings and leaking hoses.
- Inspect dock and anchor lines for chafing.
- If equipped with a stern drain plug, ensure that it is installed.
- Once you launch the boat, be sure to check all thru-hulls for leaks.