Get Ready for Boating

Warmer days, pollen and budding flowers point to beautiful boating days ahead. Now is the time to start getting the boat ready.

Once the warm weather breaks, you don’t want to miss out on the first beautiful weekend because you waited too long to prepare.

Old fuel, dead batteries, broken trailer springs and more can delay your first trip out on the water. First, consider putting a slow trickle charge on your batteries to bring them back to life.

Check the oil in four stroke outboards and stern drive engines. Is it dark and dirty? When was the last time you changed the oil? How about the fuel system?

Once the warm weather breaks, you don’t want to miss out on the first beautiful weekend because you waited too long to prepare

When did you last replace your pre-filter and engine fuel filters? If your fuel tank is not full, add some mid-grade non-ethanol fuel to boost the octane.

Inspect the bilge area for signs of oil or fuel. If you see any oil or smell any gasoline, determine the source and solve the problem before attempting to start the engine.

Inspect fuel lines on all boats and check the engine hoses and belts on stern drive engines. If you drained the block for winter, ensure all engine plugs are installed correctly.

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With the cowling off or the engine hatch open, start the engine on the hose and check to be sure the water pump is pumping sufficiently. When was the last time you replaced the water pump?

Inspect the engine area while the engine is running to be sure there are no water leaks from pumps, hoses or plugs. Bring the engine up to temperature to be sure there are no alarms.

Turn the steering to be sure that mechanical systems have not frozen or that hydraulic systems have not developed a leak.

Check the condition of all sacrificial anodes (zincs). Check out navigation lights, blower, horn, and any other accessories.  Now it’s time to inspect the trailer.

If you plan to have a mechanic or dealership perform your spring service, be sure to schedule it soon

Check tire pressure, wheel bearings, springs, bunk brackets, lights and the winch operation. Is the winch strap old and tattered? It is relatively easy to replace.

Always refer to your owner’s manual for other items that should be inspected or replaced annually. If you plan to have a mechanic or dealership perform your spring service, be sure to schedule it soon.

As soon as we get a nice warm stretch, backlogs will run up to two to three weeks very quickly.

At Duncan’s Boats, we service Mercury, Mercruiser, Volvo Penta and Yamaha, and we would be happy to advise.

Great boating days are ahead. Get ready now.

Jim Duncan / Duncan’s Boats

843-744-2628For more informative reading visit Duncan’s Boats Learning Center

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