For most boaters, January is a month when we spend less time on our boats, if any. Floridians are fortunate enough to be able to boat year-round, although we are not boating on a regular basis unless you live in South Florida. Winter is a great time to go through your boat, motor, and trailer (if you have one) by servicing, repairing, lubricating, and cleaning them.
Take the time to run your engine(s) every 2 to 3 weeks for at least 15 minutes if you can’t get out on the water. This will help keep the internal parts lubricated and fuel from gumming up in the fuel lines & injectors.
Check the battery connections for corrosion and clean if necessary. Also, tighten connections if needed. Don’t forget the trolling motor batteries if you have them. Check the water in the batteries if you have this type and top off.
Check your steering fluid and fill reservoir if necessary. Check spark plugs and replace if needed. Go ahead and replace the impeller and lower foot lubricant. You should replace the impeller annually anyway.
Check all switches to make sure your bilge pumps, aerators, wash-down pump, lights, horn, etc. are working properly. Look at your anchor rope to see if it is frayed. Don’t forget to check the date of your safety flares and fire extinguisher.
And if you have a trailer, go through it also. While you’re at it, repacked the bearings.
If you are not able to do any of these things yourself, this time of year is a great time to take your boat into your dealer or service shop. They aren’t as busy this time of year. Then when the weather warms and the boating season starts, you have your boat ready to go with no worries.
Planning to service your boat during the winter on an annual schedule will give you a worry-free boating season. Plus, you won’t have to wait to get it back from the service shop while all your friends are out on the water without you.
See you on the water.