It is time to get your boat out of winter storage and put it where it really belongs; on the water! However, that beauty has been sitting in storage during these long winter months and is going to need to go through a series of checkups to be water ready. First and foremost, your boat requires a good cleaning when coming out of storage. Like anything else that just sits idle, it has accumulated dust and dirt throughout the winter. Therefore, wipe down the interior, run the vacuum, and power-wash the bottom. Just like a car, a boat requires a good wax to protect the surface from UV rays. Applying a new coat of bottom paint (if used,) also protects from slime and barnacles damaging the hull.
Did you disconnect any electronics in your boat? After you have given your boat that spring cleaning it so desperately needed, it is time to reconnect all the electronics and test every item before any type of launch. Another important item to check before a launch is the engine. Be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area!
A critical part of the spring startup checklist that gets overlooked, but could save your life in a boating emergency, checking the safety equipment. This includes first aid kits, flares, fire extinguishers and life preservers. Be sure to check expiration dates on time sensitive safety supplies.
Lastly, to protect your boat from sinking before it even arrives in the water, double check the trailer. This involves examining items such as: turn signals and brake lights, the latch on your coupler, the rollers or bunks on your trailer, winch straps and chains for wear, and greasing the bearings.
After you have properly prepared your boat for the season, then you are ready to get out there on the water! Remember to always wear a life jacket and be safe treading the waters.