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Boat Trailer Checklist PDF

Boat Trailer Checklist

Your Boat Trailer Will Always Be Ready to Go with This Easy Maintenance Guide

Boat trailer checklist from Van Isle Marina

For those who store their boat on dry land, or who might like to tow their boat to a favourite inland lake, the boat trailer is an essential piece of equipment. To properly tow and launch your boat, the trailer must be in excellent shape. That’s why we’ve created this checklist for the care and keeping of your boat trailer.

Regulations

As with any vehicle, always check to make sure your trailer is legal and ready for the road.
  • Check to make sure registration is current
  • Check to make sure the boat load doesn’t exceed 85% of rated trailer capacity
  • Check to make sure the trailer plus boat load doesn’t exceed 85% of towing vehicle capacity

Physical Condition of Trailerboat trailer checklist PDF

Lubrication is key for a safe and secure trailer. When in doubt, have your trailer checked by a reputable professional.
  • Check for corrosion and broken welds
  • Check all rollers and pads for wear. Ensure proper support for the boat
  • Check and lubricate wheel bearings as needed
  • Check and lubricate winch as needed
  • Check tongue jack and wheel and lubricate as needed
  • Check tongue lock and lubricate as needed

Tires and Bearings

boat trailer checklist - tires

Trailer tires go from long trips on hot asphalt and backroads to cool water, making them prone to wear and cracking. Always check tires for wear periodically.
  • Inspect tire guard and fender
  • Check tire pressure
  • Check tire wear and ensure they have adequate tread > 1/4 inch
  • Check that lugs are properly tightened and lubricated
  • Check for a spare and ensure spare is road-ready
  • Check that bearings have been replaced within manufacturer guidelines

Trailer Hook Up

The ball, coupler, tie down straps and safety chains must always be completely secured to ensure safety on the road.
  • Check that the trailer ball matches coupler size and is securely engaged. The jack should not be able to lift the coupler off the ball
  • Check that the trailer ball is properly torqued
  • Check that the ball mount is secure in the receiver tube with either a hitch pin or lock
  • Check that the coupler latch is locked and secure via hitch pin or lock
  • Check that the trailer jack is fully retracted
  • Check that safety chains are hooked up and crisscrossed beneath the coupler. This will keep the coupler from hitting the road in case of an accident
  • Check that all tie down straps are in good shape and secured

boat trailer checklist - hook up

Trailer Brakes

boat trailer checklist - brake lights

If your trailer is equipped with brakes, you’ll need to check the brake fluid as often as you’d check the brake fluid levels on your main vehicle.
  • Check brake lines from actuator to brake clusters
  • Check brake fluid level
  • Check for proper operation when connected to the towing vehicle
  • Check running lights on vehicle and trailer
  • Check brake lights on vehicle and trailer

Electronics and Connections

It’s essential that the trailer lights and electronics are working properly. Take a few moments at the start of every trip to ensure your turn signals and running lights are operating.
  • Check condition of wiring for corrosion, cuts, etc.
  • Check that grounding circuit is properly attached
  • Check wire harness and tow vehicle socket
  • Check that the electrical plug is secure and firmly in the vehicle’s socket
  • Check turn signals on vehicle and trailer
  • Check that the breakaway switch cable is securely attached to vehicle
  • Check that break control is working and adjusted to the trailer’s weight

To make sure your trailer is in top-notch condition, always take the time to give your trailer a thorough check. This is particularly important at the beginning, middle and end of the season, or after a long trip. Lastly, always raise your boat engine and ensure all your onboard gear is secure before you drive away. Doing this basic check will give you the peace of mind to tow and launch your boat with confidence.

At Van Isle Marina, we provide completely secure moorage with annual, monthly and guest options. Conveniently located in sunny Sidney, BC, we’re just a quick cruise away from a variety of fantastic destinations. With amenities like storage lockers, car parking, and a full-service marine fueling station and dock store, you’ll find everything you’ll need to start and end your trip. Come down and see us, or request services/moorage information at (250) 656-1138 or by email.

De-Winterizing Your Boat

De-Winterizing Your Boat Checklist

Spring Maintenance Checklist for Your Boat

 

Spring is here and you’re more than ready to get back out on the water. There are a few key things you’re going to need to take care of first though, to make sure that your boat is ready for the inaugural trip. Not only will properly de-winterizing your boat ensure that everything’s in good working order, it will help extend the life of the boat.

If your boat has been in dry storage for the winter, it’s a good idea to check your trailer first. This 10-minute check will let you move your boat back to the water with confidence. Most importantly, check the renewal date for your boating and fishing / crabbing licenses and make sure any required decals are easily visible.

Trailer

To safely transport your boat back to the water, the trailer and tires need to be road-ready.

  • Check trailer tires for pressure, any cracking, or inadequate tread. Replace tires if they’re older than 3-5 years.
  • Check tongue latch and coupling
  • Check trailer brake fluid level
  • Check trailer lights and replace as needed
  • Test the rollers
  • Check the padding where the hull rests

Anchors, Lines and Ropes

All mooring and anchoring equipment should be clean and ready to go. It’s always a good idea to purchase new line before the start of the season.

  • Spring Boating Checklist - RopeCheck that you have enough rope to launch and tie your boat
  • Check that you have enough rope to secure your boat in at least two areas
  • Check all knots for anchors and hardware
  • Check for any damaged or tangled line or rope
  • Make sure any bumpers are in the boat

Belts, Cables and Hoses

Check for wear and tear and consult a boat mechanic if you have any concerns.

  • Check for cracks and brittle areas
  • Check for wear on belts
  • Check the outer layer of control cables. Any cracking or swelling can be signs of a problem

Electrical

As boaters, we rely heavily on electrical equipment for a safe and comfortable experience. Go through each of the electrical components on your boat to make sure everything’s in good working order.

  • Check all connections for corrosion and cleanliness
  • Remove battery terminals, clean connections with wire brushDe-Winterization of your Boat Checklist - Helm
  • Check the battery is charged. Replace if needed
  • Test the generator on full tilt
  • Check interior and exterior lights
  • Check navigational equipment (GPS)
  • Check electrical box
  • Check HVAC or air conditioner on hot and cold

Engine and Fuel System

The heart of your boat, you won’t get very far without the engine! We recommend a regular inspection by a trained boat technician, ideally at the start and end of the boating season.

  • Check transom mounts (outboard)
  • Check for any smoke
  • Check transmission
  • Check levers on every seacock
  • Check raw water intake and strainer
  • Inspect connections, hoses and tanks for damage or leaks
  • Replace spark plugs and other components as needed
  • Check that all clamps and fittings are tight
  • Check that exhaust, engine and ventilation systems are working well

Fluid Levels

Topped-up fluids will keep your engine and steering column going strong. Replace any expired fluids and top up everything else as needed.

  • Check coolant
  • Check engine oil
  • Check power steering fluid
  • Check power trim reservoirs
  • Check coolant levels
  • Change engine oil, filter and drive lubricants as needed

Hull and Exterior

The key to prolonging the life of your boat, the hull should be kept clean and waxed, with any damage taken care of right away.Spring Checklist for your boat - Hull

  • Check hull for blisters, distortions and cracks
  • Clean the hull, deck and topsides
  • Check that the drain plug is secure *Put a backup drain plug somewhere safe on board
  • Check for cracks or damage around fittings
  • Check for damage on or around the hatches
  • Check upholstery for any mold / mildew / tears
  • Check the livewells

Interior

The living space and head are a cozy place to crash at the end of a busy day of fishing and water sports. Take a few minutes to check lighting, appliances and water, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

  • Check for water pressure and quality
  • Check for damage to doors and portholes
  • Check lights and switchesboat spring checklist - interior
  • Check for leaks in fridge
  • Check temperature in fridge / freezer
  • Test the appliances
  • Check lights and switches
  • Check TV, speakers and any other extras

Propeller

A damaged propeller can’t work as efficiently as an undamaged one. If you see any marks or chips / dings that are concerning, talk to a pro about repair or replacement.

  • Check propellers for any damage
  • Make sure propeller is secure and replace bearings if needed

Safety Equipment and Gear

Up-to-date safety equipment is a huge part of any vessel. We recommend booking a safety inspection by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP) if available.

  • Check the flares
  • Check marine radio
  • Check condition of heaving line and lifebuoy(s)
  • Check condition of first aid kit
  • Check life jackets and replace any expired jackets
  • Check the fire extinguishers. Replace if expired
  • Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Replace batteries

Water System

For washing up and drinking, clean water is essential.

  • If you added antifreeze, flush it out now
  • Empty the grey and black tanks
  • Refill the fresh-water tank

Clean the Boat

Give your boat a good spring clean to get it off to the best possible start this season.De-winterizing your boat checklist - Cleaning

  • Clean the hull, scrubbing away any rusty spots or fuel drips
  • Scrub any areas where mold may have started over the winter
  • Clean the carpets and vacuum any debris
  • Wash the windows
  • Disinfect hard and soft surfaces using a gentle spray solution
  • Spray a fabric protector on any vinyl to block harsh UV light

At Van Isle Marina, we offer moorage with annual, monthly and guest options. Conveniently located in sunny Sidney, BC on the Haro Strait, we’re just a quick cruise away from a variety of fantastic destinations. With amenities like storage lockers, car parking, and a full-service marine fueling station and dock store, you’ll find everything you could need to start and end your trip. Are you as excited for the summer boating season as we are? Come down and see us, or request services/moorage information by calling (250) 656-1138 or via email.

Boat Maintenance Checklist PDF

Boat Maintenance Checklist

Use this Handy Checklist for Boats / Yachts Before Getting Back on the Water

Boat maintenance is a key part of keeping your boat cruising smoothly for optimal enjoyment, safety and resale value. At Van Isle Marina, we know there’s a lot to think about when it comes to maintaining your boat. This is why we’ve created this handy cheat sheet for the care and keeping of your boat.boat maintenance checklist PDF cover image

It’s a good idea to go through this boat maintenance checklist at the end of the season. This will give you plenty of time to schedule the required boat repairs and maintenance during the low season.

Completing all the maintenance needed for your vessel will make it easy to be out on the water as soon as the cruising season begins.

Boat Mechanics

To ensure a smooth trip, take the time to inspect the engine and all its parts. Replace items as needed to ensure your boat is in good working order.

  • Check the engine and operating temperatureboat maintenance checklist - check propellers
  • Check propeller for any damage
  • Test steering for any leaks
  • Check transom mount (if using an outboard)
  • Check fuel lines for weak points or leaks
  • Do an oil change
  • Check spark plugs
  • Check fluid levels
  • Check gearcase for water
  • Check belts, cables and hoses
  • Lubricate fittings (where required)

Boat’s Electrical Systems

Because your boat experiences a lot of vibration and hull flex, it’s important to properly troubleshoot and maintain electrical components.

  • Check battery charge level
  • Check battery connections and cables
  • Look for any acid leaks around terminals and clean as needed
  • Replace battery if needed
  • Check and/or replace interior and exterior lighting and wiring

Hull of the Boat

As the watertight part of the boat, the hull maintains the structural integrity of the boat, protecting the cabin, cargo, engines and all other components.boat maintenance checklist - waxing the hull

  • Check for any signs of leaks
  • Check for cracks or stressed areas
  • Check thru-hulls for rust
  • Check stringers
  • Wash with a pH balanced soap
  • Wax or paint hull

Boat’s Electronics

Not to be confused with electrical systems, the onboard electronics of the boat let you navigate and communicate effectively.

  • Check wiring for any corrosion
  • Check voltage levels
  • Update firmware to latest version

Boat’s HVAC System

Ready access to water as well as reliable heating and air conditioning are essential to an enjoyable trip out on your boat.

  • Check and refill water tank
  • Check the drain for clogs
  • Check for condensate in pan under evaporator
  • Clean air filters and raw water strainer
  • Reverse cycle the system to make sure heating is available
  • Check the water pump impeller and condenser coil for any build-up

Upholstery and Canvas on Board

Seasonal maintenance is needed to preserve and extend the life of the on-board upholstery and covers.boat maintenance checklist - clean the upholstery

  • Check for mould and mildew – clean as needed with vinegar solution
  • Remove and wash canvas
  • Check for waterproofing – reapply waterproofing spray if needed

Safety Equipment on Board your Boat

Ensure your safety equipment is in good working condition and within the expiry date. Replace anything that has expired or is in poor condition.

  • Check flare(s)
  • Check fire extinguisher
  • Inspect lifejackets for tears or missing parts
  • Inspect and restock first aid kit
  • Check flashlight and batteries
  • Check and refill spare gas can
  • Check EPIRB (Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon)
  • Check tender for damage
  • Check paddles and outboard motor on tender

Click here to download our boat maintenance checklist as a PDF.

Getting ready to get back out on the water this spring? Come and see us first. At Van Isle Marina, we’re a one-stop shop for all your cruising needs, from oils and additives to charts and tackle. We offer a great marine fuel discount program for recreational and commercial vessels. Enjoy full-service assistance with dock lines and fueling from our marine gas station team. We’re open 8 :00 AM – 4:00 PM daily (winter) and 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM daily (summer) and we look forward to seeing you in beautiful Sidney, BC. Contact us anytime for a service request for moorage, haul out, dry land storage and more.