For many of us, spring has been a little tardy this year, and we’re chomping at the bit to finally enjoy some awesome boating weather. Here are a few pointers to make sure your boat is as ready for spring as you are.
CLEAN HER UP. Most of us wake up and take a shower to get the day off to a fresh start; your boat deserves no less. Give her a good stem-to-stern scrub down – clean the windows and canvas, wax the hull, polish the metalwork and oil the teak. She will happily repay you for your efforts.
SAFETY FIRST. It’s a big ocean or lake or river out there, so make sure you and your family will be safe while enjoying it. Ensure all ladders, pulpits and railings are in good condition. Inspect your personal flotation devices, life rings and cushions. Check and recharge fire extinguishers if necessary, and don’t forget to show the dinghy or life raft some love too.
THE HULL STORY. Your boat’s hull is the only thing keeping you on top of the water, so it makes sense to give it a thorough inspection before you head out on your first voyage. Check for abrasions, gouges or blisters, and repair as needed. Make sure rudders are functioning properly, and touch up or replace the antifouling paint.
For sailboat hulls, inspect the keel to hull joint. It’s not uncommon to have a small 1/8" gap at the front and rear of this joint due to the keel having a flat top and the hull having a round shape. Clean this gap with mineral spirits, allow time to dry, then fill with marine adhesive.
POSITIVELY ELECTRIFYING. You can’t do too much boating nowadays without the power of electricity, so make sure all your electrical systems are shipshape before you head out. Check and recharge or replace batteries as needed. Inspect antennas and wiring for wear and tear. Test all gauges and lighting fixtures, and have spare fuses and bulbs onboard.
THE DRIVING FORCE. Whether you use gasoline, diesel or wind to get around, how well your engine or sails perform can make or break a great day on the water. If you’re a powerboater, now would be a good time to change all fluids including oil, transmission and coolant. For sailors, check the mast and spreaders for corrosion, and don’t forget to clean and inspect the sails.
IS SHE LEGAL? Before that first excursion of the season, be sure your registration is current and on hand. The same applies to your trailer if you use one.
Your local Beneteau dealer can help you with routine maintenance and repairs. To locate your dealer, click here.