As the weather warms up and the birds start chirping, fishing enthusiasts everywhere start stringing their rods. Fishing season comes after being stuck indoors all winter. It is a chance to get out into nature and experience the relaxation of floating on the water. However, there is nothing relaxing about having boat troubles when you’re out at sea.
Getting your boat ready after months of sitting unused, can be daunting. It is a necessary evil of owning a boat. The sooner you start this process the better. You can never be too sure what issues you’ll find.
It’s a good idea to get your motor thoroughly checked and serviced before your first fishing trip. Make sure that it is running well and everything is oiled. Then move on to the safety equipment. Inspect ladders and rub rails for broken pieces or cracks. It’s better to purchase boat supplies at the beginning of the season, rather than waiting for them to break at the worst time. Be sure to check that the batteries are fully charged. The terminals should be free from corrosion and properly covered. You may want to try on life vests for yourself and members of your family to make sure they still fit. Lastly, scrutinize lines, cleats and fire extinguishers.
Wash and Wax
Dirt and grime on your boat can hide problems and also cause some, so give everything a good scrub. This allows you to get close and personal with every inch of your craft. Look for rust and cracks in the hull, topside and deck. After you are done, apply a good coat of wax. This will prevent grime from collecting as fast and makes cleaning the hull after trips easier. Also, polish any exterior metal on the boat to avoid rust.
Don’t forget about the boat trailer. Trailers are often the last thing on a fisherman’s mind. However, if the trailer breaks down, then you aren’t going to get very far. It may even cause damage to your boat. Make sure the tires are filled up and don’t have any leaks. The tread needs to be decent in order to pull your boat in gravel or wet conditions. Inspect the axle, suspension and coupling to make sure towing won’t be an issue. If you have any wooden rails on the trailer, check them for rot and replace them if necessary. It’s always a good idea to take a quick test trip around the block. While driving, listen and watch for anything out of the ordinary.