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Top Tips: A Winter Check-Up for Your Boat

For many boaters, winter brings cold temperatures and unfavorable weather which means boats need to be stored away until Spring. While you countdown to boating season, why not pay your marina a visit to check in on your boat and ensure all is ok.

Walk Around Check

If your Boat is in the Water: Inspect the dock lines and check to make sure they are still in good condition and maintaining length and boat positioning. Lines should be tight enough to keep your boat off the dock but loose enough to allow some give for changes in water level. Ensure your fenders are still in position and protecting your boat too.

It is imperative to check your shore power connection if your boat is the water. Given the weather and elements, you want to be sure your connection is tight, secure and free of corrosion. Loose fittings and water damage can lead to overheating and fires. Consider upgrading your connection to SmartPlug to ensure your connection is always safe and secure, no matter what time of year it may be or what the weather brings.

If Your Boat is on Dry Land: Whether on a trailer or on jackstands, ensure your boat is secure and level as you originally left it. It is important to do so that water drains properly. If your boat is stored on a trailer, make sure it is facing away from the road to minimize theft.

Walk Through Check

Once you’ve ensured your boat is securely stored, it’s time to walk through the boat to inspect all is well.

  • Check your boat cover or shrink-wrap–look for signs of tears, damage or loose fittings that can expose your boat to the elements.
  • Check drains for build up and clogs.
  • Check for pooling water –this can indicate improper drainage or leaks
  • Pay attention to smells –do you smell gas or mold? If so, find the source to eliminate potential issues.
  • Examine portholes and hatches –look for water stains, corrosion, dirt or water as these are warning signs,they were not properly secured.
  • Inspect your bilge –ensure there is no water in the bilge. If your battery is still on board, test your bilge pump it to make sure it is operating.
  • Look around your engine compartment –check for signs of fluid leaks, cracked hoses, broken clamps or anything else that can indicate an issue.

If during your inspection you notice anything of concern, report it to your marina staff as soon as possible. Although it may not be boating season, there should be technicians on staff to help address any issues you are experiencing. Taking care of problems now will help make your boat launch in Spring easier and faster!

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