Spring Cleaning – Florida Boat Maintenance
While Florida’s weather is perfect for Key Largo boating year-round, not everyone can or wants to use their boat during the off-season. If your boat goes unused for any period of time, you likely winterize it to avoid problems from developing, which means that you also need to de-winterize before the new season. The right boat maintenance is essential before you get your boat back out on the water for some fun in the Florida sun.
1. Clean and charge your battery.
Long periods of inactivity can take a toll on your battery. Test your battery with a multimeter, and if it is not fully charged, charge it. You might also need to use a wire brush to clean rust from the terminals and remove any debris or build-up.
2. Test the electronics.
After charging your battery and cleaning the posts, you will need to check the various electronic components on your vessel. This includes the bilge pump. If any are not fully functional, have them serviced before taking your boat out on the water.
3. Change the oil and check the fluid levels.
Your boat’s oil needs to be changed regularly. If you did not change your oil before docking your boat at the end of the season, now is a great time to do it. Check all your other fluid levels, and top them off as necessary.
4. Fill the cooling system.
Check the cooling system. Drain existing coolant and replace it with fresh coolant. If you are unsure of the best coolant for your system, check your boat’s manual or ask your mechanic for their recommendations.
5. Check the fuel lines and belts.
Over the winter, various systems can collect rust and debris. Check the gas tank and fuel lines for buildup and moisture. Check the belts for signs of wear, tears, and cracks and replace them if necessary.
6. Inspect the safety gear.
Safety gear protects you and anyone else on board in case of emergencies, which means that you also need to check it periodically to ensure it is present and in good working order. You need life jackets and flotation devices for all those on board. Fire extinguishers should be in good working condition and not expired. Signaling equipment should function properly.
Proper boat maintenance is an important but occasionally cumbersome job. Mangrove Marina has everything you need to get your boat seaworthy. A full-service marina right here in the Florida Keys, we take boat maintenance seriously with full yard service for both sailboats and powerboats, including engine work, electronics work, detailing, canvas repairs, marine systems repairs, power washing, and more. You can DIY your de-winterizing, or our service staff can help with a wide range of tasks to help get you ready for the best Key Largo boating season ever. Give us a call today at Mangrove Marina to find out more or to plan your next visit to the Florida Keys.