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Time For Spring Commissioning!

Time for spring commissioning! With almost two months before the official start of summer, spring is the best time to get your boat and trailer ready for the season! According to BoatU.S., here are a few areas to consider before launching your boat. For the full checklist, visit

Before launching your boat:

  • Check the condition of your bottom paint and repaint if needed.

  • Inspect hose clamps for rust and hoses for stiffness, rot or leaks. Replace as needed.

  • Inspect props for dings or pitting and grip the prop (on inboard systems) and try moving the shaft up and down and side to side. If loose, the cutless bearing may need replacement.

  • Inspect your boat's hull for stress cracks or distortions.

  • Inspect and lubricate seacocks or thru-hulls.

  • With inboards, check the engine shaft and rudder stuffing boxes for correct adjustment.

  • Use a garden hose to check for deck leaks at ports and hatches. Replace caulk or gaskets if needed.

  • Inspect and test your bilge pump, float switch and pump hose to make sure they are working properly. If you are looking to keep your bilge permanently dry, consider a BILGE-B-DRY dry bilge system, which can be scheduled with your cell phone. This is the perfect time to upgrade to a multi-pump BILGE-B-DRY unit if your boat's bilge has excess water in multiple, hard-to-reach areas. Remember - your main bilge pump will not reduce the extra inch or two of water leftover in your bilge that can cause excessive odor, mold, mildew and corrosion.

Engines and Fuel Systems:

  • Inspect fuel lines for cracking and check all joints, fuel tanks, fuel pumps and filters for leaks. Clean or replace fuel filters if not done before winterization.

  • For inboard or I/O boats, remove and inspect exhaust manifolds and risers for corrosion.

  • Charge your battery. Clean and tighten electrical connections and use a wire brush to clean battery terminals.

  • Inspect bilge ventilation intake and blower ducting for leaks. If you are looking for a solution to improve your boat's ventilation, check out EVACUATOR+ Blower Control!

Engine Outdrives & Outboards:

  • Inspect rubber outdrive bellows for deteriorated spots and replace.

  • Check power steering and power trim oil levels.

  • Replace anodes that are more than half wasted away.

  • Inspect outer jacket of control cables. Cracks or swelling indicate corrosion and replacement.

Sailboat Rigging:

  • Inspect swage fittings for cracks or heavy rust.

  • Remove tape on turnbuckles and lubricate threads. Replace old tape with fresh tape and ensure water is able to freely drain.

  • Inspect masthead sheaves and all blocks to ensure free run.


  • Inspect tire treads and sidewalls for cracks or lack of tread and replace.

  • Check tire air pressure.

  • Inspect wheel bearings and repack as needed.

  • Test all lights and replace broken bulbs or lenses.

  • Inspect winch and hitch chains.

  • Inspect trailer frame and axels for rust. Sand and paint if needed.

  • Inspect brakes and brake fluid reservoir.


  • A new law requires a vessel operator to use a helm or outboard lanyard or wireless engine cutoff switch on certain boats. Be sure this switch is working properly.

  • Check the date on flares, which expire 42 months after manufacture.

  • Inspect fire extinguishers. The newest law requires a 12-year expiration for disposables and has different carriage requirements for older and newer vessels.

  • Ensure you have enough properly sized life jackets. Check inflatable life jacket cylinders.

  • Test smoke, carbon monoxide, fume and bilge alarms.

  • Check running lights and spare bulbs.

  • Update Chart plotter software.

  • Replenish first aid kit items that may be expired.

  • Check the operation of VHF radios.


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