Spring Start-Up Checklist for Your Yacht or Sailboat

Spring is in the air; is your boat ready to get back to cruising? If you did winterize your boat, you saved yourself some spring boat prep time and possible headaches now, which means the road between your boat and the water is shorter! Although it is always best to winterize a boat before putting it into storage, if you didn’t, don’t worry. Here are some tips to get you pointed in the right direction:

Have Your Manufacturer’s Manual Handy

If you have a copy, fantastic. If you don’t, it would be a good idea to get one. You’ll need it to replace fluids and parts properly. Never take apart anything without consulting the manual first.

De-winterizing Your Engine

This will be the biggest and messiest task, so it is recommended that you start here. If you didn’t change the oil at the end of last season, do so now. At the same time you change the oil, be sure to change the oil filter. Change the oil in the transmission or the outboard’s lower unit as well. Next, fill up the cooling system. Be sure you examine the hoses for any cracks and empty out the strainer. Finally, check the batteries and replace them if needed. Use a battery tester to check out the amps and volts and perform a thorough engine test.

Inspect the Canvas & Vinyl

Check your bimini top, seats, covers, and other vinyl and canvas items for tears, mildew and dirt. Repairs tears and holes, and then clean with the proper cleaner for canvas and vinyl.

Inspect the Hull and Propellers

Check the hull for abrasions, scratches, gouges, etc. and repair if needed. Inspect and replace zincs if necessary. Touch up or replace bottom paint. Check the propellers for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion.

Clean and Wax the Hull

First clean your boat’s exterior using a marine safe cleaner from a marine supply store. Van Isle Marina is also able to supply or order in almost any product you may need. Then, wax the hull as necessary.

Polish the Metal and Teak

Metal and teak are referred to as ‘brightwork’ and enhance the look of your boat. Also, prolonged neglect of metal and teak can compromise the integrity of the materials. To protect the metal, use a metal polisher. For teak, it is usually recommended that you sand it and then apply stain and varnish.

Test All Electronics

Bring all the electronics back on board and do a thorough test to be sure they are working properly. Test the radio, GPS, compass, depth finder, and any other marine electronics.

Clean the Interior

Whether you have an open deck or cabin with full galley, clean the area thoroughly to remove dirt and debris.

Van Isle Marina’s Yacht Park is available to help you with any springtime preparation you may require.  Our Sea-Lifts and Brownell submersible trailers can haul-out up to 70 feet or 45 tons.  You can book a full or half haul-out depending on your needs.  Half Haul-outs are convenient for inspections, zinc changes or marine surveys.  If you have never been to the marina before, our videos are an excellent introduction to the haul-out process.