Spring Start-up Checklist

So the sun is shining, the temperature is rising and it's time to get back out on the water. But make sure your boat is prepared before you get out to the middle of the lake, down the river or off the coast. Here's a list of what you can do to make sure your boat is ready for a long, fun boating season.

You can also download the Spring Start-up Checklist in a PDF file

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Do a general cleaning of hull, deck and topsides using a mild detergent
Make sure drains and scuppers are clear
Put on a good coat of wax
Clean and polish metal with a good metal polish and clean and oil teak
Clean windows and hatches
Clean canvas, bimini and dodger
Clean interior including bilges
Check spare parts and tools and replace as necessary
Make sure registration and insurance is current and onboard

Check for hull abrasions, scratches, gouges, etc. and repair
Check and replace zincs
Check for blisters and refinish as necessary
Check rub rails
Check swim platform and/or ladder
Inspect and test trim tabs
Check shaft, cutlass bearing, strut and prop
Check rudder and fittings
Touch up or replace antifouling paint

Inboard Engine(s)
Change oil & filters - have spare onboard
Check and change fuel filters - have spares onboard
Check and change engine zincs
Check cooling system change coolant as necessary - have extra onboard
Record engine maintenance log, especially date & hours of last oil changes
Check belts for tension
Check transmission fluid
Check and clean backfire flame arrestor
Check impeller
Check and clean water strainer
Check bilge blower

Outboard Engine(s)
Replace spark plugs
Check plug wires for wear
Check prop for nicks and bends
Change/fill gear lube
Inspect fuel lines, primer bulb and tank for leaks
Lubricate and spray moveable parts

Deck, Fittings & Safety Equipment
Check stanchion, pulpits and lifelines for integrity
Check ground tackle, lines, fenders, etc.
Check chainplates and cleats
Check hull/deck joint
Check deck, windows, and port lights for leaks
Inspect anchor windlass and lubricate
Clean and grease winches
Check and lubricate blocks, pad eyes, etc.
Check dinghy, and life raft

Below Deck
Check, test and lubricate seacocks
Check condition of hoses and clamps
Make sure below waterline hoses are double clamped
Check bilges pumps for automatic and manual operation
Check for oil in bilges
Check limber holes and make sure they are clear of debris

Electrical System and Components
Check battery water level
Check/recharge batteries
Check terminals for corrosion, clean and lubricate
Check bonding system
Inspect all wiring for wear and chafe
Test all gauges for operability
Check shore power and charger
Check for spare fuses
Check all lighting fixtures (including navigation lights) and make sure you have spare bulbs
Check all electronics for proper operation
Inspect antennas

Water System
Flush water tank
Check water system and pump for leaks and proper operation
Check hot water tank working on both AC and engines
Check for tank cap keys on board
Check and clean shower sump pump screens

Head System
Checked for smooth operation - lubricate and clean as necessary
If equipped with treatment system, have chemicals on hand
Y-valve operation checked, valve labeled & secured

Check for current registration
Check rollers and pads
Check and lubricate wheel bearings
Clean and lubricate winch
Lubricate tongue jack and wheel
Test lights and electrical connections
Check tire pressure and condition
Check brakes (if equipped)
Check safety chains
Check tongue lock

Required and Recommended Equipment
Sound signaling device
Check distress signals and expiration date
Check Pfds
Inspect life rings and cushions
Check fire extinguishers and recharge if necessary
Check and adjust compass
Check navigation lights
Check charts and replace as necessary
Check radar reflector
Check and replace first aid supplies
Check bailer and hand pump

Mast and Rigging
Check mast and spreaders for corrosion or damage
Inspect spreader boots and shrouds
Inspect rivets and screw connections for corrosion
Check reefing points and reefing gear
Clean sail track
Check rigging, turnbuckles and clevis pins for wear and corrosion
Inspect stays for fraying and "fish hooks"
Check forestay and backstay connections
Check masthead fitting and pulleys
Check and lubricate roller furling
Check halyards and consider replacing or swapping end for end
Tape turnbuckles, cotter pins, and spreaders

Check general condition
Look for wear and chafing
Check battens and batten pockets
Check all sail attachments
Inspect bolt rope

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