Ah, the arrival of spring in New Zealand—what a joyous occasion! It signifies the return of our beloved boating season. As we welcome this change of season, it's time to get our boats ready for the adventures that lie ahead!
Need a checklist? Discover Boating has done this homework for you. The maintenance to-do list includes various points of action concerning the following: fuel system; cables, hoses and belts; fluid levels; electric system; propellers and hulls; and safety gear. Take time to visit the Discover Boating site as each of those areas on the checklist includes many factors requiring attention after the winter months.
Are all your electric connections clean, tight and corrosion free? Have you tested your battery? Are your fluid levels (engine oil, power steering, power trim reservoirs and coolant) sitting where they should be? Is your drain plug securely in place? Have you inspected your propellers for damage? These are but some of the things you should direct your attention to.
Checking your safety gear is a key responsibility. Have you given your onboard fire extinguisher, flares and life jackets the once over? Remember, life jackets need to be in good condition and there needs to be enough on board for all potential passengers.
The Small Boater website includes seven tips to consider when preparing your boat for spring. One of these is giving your hull a thorough going-over to check for potential issues (blisters, distortions, cracks). The site advises also checking the rudder and its fittings, the prop and its shaft, and all of the other mechanical bits that are visible from the exterior. If you have a larger boat, you will also need to go over some of the heavier equipment like your anchor and the bilge pumps. For example, ensure your anchor’s windlass is not having any trouble moving and go over the chain to ensure there are no signs of rust or other problems.
Of course, exactly how much you may need to do this spring clean will be affected by how dedicated you were to winterising your boat. Regardless of when exactly maintenance is tackled, ensure it’s done in time so you can then concentrate on having fun safely during the warmer months.