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Before You Float—Check Your Boat

Before You Float—Check Your Boat

With warmer water temperatures and abundant sunshine, many boat enthusiasts are dusting off the winter cobwebs and preparing for a fun weekend on the water. Nothing can dampen the fun as quickly as ending up dead in the water, needing a tow because of a lack of a boat maintenance and inspection. Boats are made to be on the water, not sitting in a garage, so early-season maintenance can get you started out on the right foot.

Tune-ups help your engine run at maximum performance and help catch any needed deficiencies. That includes a compression test as well as checking all seals, spark plugs, and lubricant levels. Replacing fuel filters, especially after sitting all winter, is always a great idea. Batteries are another problem spot if not checked regularly.

Rich at Lakeland Marine also provided some tips for often overlooked items that can be critical in an emergency. “Check your fire extinguisher for an expiration date and make sure it is properly charged. Also, make sure your bilge blower is functioning properly and your bilge pump works.” Rich also points out that you should always make sure you can easily remove your drain plug—and carry a spare. By law, drain plugs must be pulled as soon as your boat is pulled out of the water.

Finally, inspect your trailer and make sure it is in proper working condition. If your trailer breaks down, you’ll never make it to the lake, and where’s the fun in that? Before the start of the next boating season, it is always a good idea to have your boat checked out by a reputable dealer before launching so that you and your family can enjoy a great season on the lake.

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