A wet winter plus spring rains may equal a sunken boat. To thwart that result, visit your boat with our checklist in tow.
- Look for drips, leaks, cracks, blisters, rips, and holes. Turn a hose on any spot that looks vulnerable. Repair or replace as necessary.
- Check and replace dried-out caulking around hatches and ports.
- Ensure thru-hull fittings are not corroded or cracked.
- Check that engine coolant lines fit properly.
- Examine all shafts and readjust the stuffing box packing if necessary.
- Make sure seacocks work properly and aren’t frozen open or shut.
- Clean debris from the scuppers.
- Be sure the drain plug is properly installed.
- Confirm the intake strainer is secure and corrosion-free.
- Replace all cracked or weak hoses for the head, air conditioning, muffler, and exhaust.
- Check all thru-hull bolts, such as those securing the swim platform, speedometer, transducers, and struts.
- Check the out-drive unit of an inboard/outboard for damage or leaks.
- Before hooking into the dock’s fresh water system, ensure that fittings, clamps, and valves are tight and the hose isn’t dried out.
Don’t leave without hanging out your fenders — you don’t want your boat banging into the dock or other boats during spring storms. Make it a habit to visit regularly to re-secure the lines and test for dampness.