Spring is here and that means it’s time to get the boat cleaned up and ready to float. The list always looks huge when I first write it out but once I get going most of the tasks seem to fly by. Of course, bottom painting does not count, that never flies by.
One of the most important tasks is inspecting the boat for potential problems while it’s still on land. The changing temperatures can cause things to expand and contract and loosen the old sealant around fittings. Hose clamps rust and break, especially older ones. Hoses themselves can also crack, which may not show until the engine is started with water pressure building up. Leaks and drips may not be easy to spot until the boat is in the water, but the most obvious problems can be soved before it’s time to launch.
Remember to carefully inspect through-hull fittings as part of your Spring routine, the sealant around them can crack and separate from the hull, and they can crack themselves with age. Even one above the water line can cause problems, if the boat is heavily loaded or hangs on a dock line the fitting may become submerged long enough to take on water. When in doubt, reseal or replace them.
Capt. Chuck Warren