If you've recently purchased a center console boat so that you can enjoy salt water or lake fishing at your convenience rather than having to schedule a charter, you're probably looking forward to enjoying summer days on the water with family and friends -- or even making some solo trips to soak up some peaceful solitude on an occasional basis. However, if this is your first adventure with owning your own boat, you may be unfamiliar with basic maintenance tasks. For instance, if you put your boat in dry dock or store it in a shed or commercial boat storage unit for the winter months, you'll have to get it ready in the spring so that you can safely take it out on the water.
Here's what you need to do in the spring to prep your boat for a great summer.
Replace Fluids and Filters
Before you take your boat out in the spring is the time to replace engine fluids as well as oil and fuel filters. As you're performing these tasks, keep a close eye out for signs of corrosion, cracks, or other damage, and be sure to have anything suspicious checked out by a professional before you put your boat in the water.
Replace the Water Pump
Most seasoned center console boat owners replace their water pump on an annual basis, and spring maintenance time provides an excellent opportunity to perform this task. The water pump is one of the hardest working boat parts, and it's better to replace it before you notice that it's not doing the job it should. This will give you peace of mind when on the water if you know your pump is good to go.
Inspect the Fuel System
Carefully inspect the boat's fuel hoses for signs of leaks, cracks, and general weak spots, and replace any hoses showing any of these signs of damage. Don't forget to check the connections, since these are where a great deal of leaks actually occur. Even if you don't find any damage by doing a visual inspection, be alert for any odor of fuel: if you smell gas, that's a sign that there may be a fuel leak.
Keep in mind that even if you choose to have all of your boat maintenance tasks performed by a professional boat mechanic, you should ask if you can watch while the work is being done. It's important that you have a clear idea of what a boat service entails in case you need to perform one of these tasks on your own in the future.