The easiest way to put more spring in your boating is to start the season earlier—with no last minute repairs. The best time to address repairs is the fall. But if you didn’t, you are lucky—you have a second chance.
When you put your boat away for this winter, you probably had a few problems or jobs that needed to be dealt with, but time got away on you; so the boat went to bed with the “to-do” list undone.
The good news is, you don’t have to wait until next summer to check off the items on the list that will delay your boating.
You have a second chance right NOW!
The problem with waiting until next spring is the Service Department’s already full schedule. They’ll be swamped from May on. As a result, you’ll end up at the end of the list, or they may not be able to fit you in at all, further cutting into your summer boating enjoyment.
The boating season is already too short, so you don’t want to be in the shop during your precious boating months. Add weeks to your boating season.
This weekend “NOW”, is the perfect opportunity to visit your marina’s service department to get on their winter work list. They can order any parts and address all your issues during their slower time; so they will have you ready to go earlier in the spring.
Repair List Suggestions
Following is a list of things that can be done over the winter months. Add and modify to customize a list for your boat:
- Canvas – Do your zippers, windows, Velcro, snaps or bows need repair or replacing?
- Upholstery – Repairs like seams, rips, stains and fasteners?
- Carpeting – Pull old carpet if it snaps out, and get it repaired or replaced in the shop or even steam cleaned.
- Gauges – Do you have electrical gauges either motor or electrical for shore power that were not working right, that can be tested and replaced without running the motors?
- Bottom paint or plumbing leaks, dull hull and chalky decks? Schedule to be attacked as soon as the weather breaks.
- Props – Check the prop(s) for dings and send them out for repair and reinstalling to avoid spring delays.
- Lower Units – Did you have some extra clunks and grinds coming from your sterndrive or outboard(s) that you forgot to tell your marina about, before you were hauled? Now’s the time to get them rebuilt/repaired, as necessary. Don’t lose spring boating.
- Thru-hull fittings not working or leaking? For example, cutlass bearings, depth sounder, speedo, anodes, etc.
- Trailer – Does your trailer need the wheel bearings repacked, repaired or replaced? Get it done or scheduled, depending on your trailer availability.
- Bilge Pump – Was it lazy or intermittent? Time for a new one.
- Water Pressure Pump – Did it cycle during the night, when all the faucets were closed? Time to find the leak or faulty pressure switch.
- Horn –Was your horn silent or “squawky”, when you pushed the button last summer? Maybe time for a tune-up.
- VHF Radio – Were your conversations broken, scratchy or simply one way? Electronics are key to survival. Add to your check list.
- Head & Holding Tank – Does it smell like septic in your cabin or just plain stink? This is best dealt with ASAP. Get the Pros to find the leak or cause of the smell and address it right away. It may just be that the tank needs some shock treatment. Whatever it needs, do it, because it will destroy your summer boating, if you have to smell it every day.
- Frig or Ice Maker – Have either forgotten how cool their jobs are? Another job for the technician.
- BBQ – Were the burners flaring up on your BBQ? Probably time for new burners to ensure it is dependable all summer long.
- Dock Lines/Anchor Lines – Were they ratty and showing signs of wear? Order new ones, so you don’t end up with broken lines during a storm.
- Other jobs – Any other jobs you can think of, that can be scheduled for the marina service department to do during their off season. Better for both.
- Dock – Did your dock jump out to attack your boat every time you approached your slip? If you have any scratches or dents on your hull, it is probably time to improve your docking skills.
Get and study the docking lessons and videos for your drive system over the winter; so come spring, the dock will no longer be a threat.
Get back on the water ASAP
With a little brainstorming and discussing with your First Mate and family, you will probably be able to come up with a few items to add to this list. Deal with them sooner rather than later.
Everything you get done during the winter or get scheduled for early spring, will reduce spring launch delays.
Get your boat on the water sooner.
Why not enjoy the WHOLE Spring, Summer and Fall?
Get planning and signing work orders, so you can get splashed ASAP next spring.