Wednesday, March 2, 2016

It's Time to De-Winterize

Spring is just a few weeks away and you'll be wanting to hit the water before you know it! Before you head out for a day on the Lake, you need to make sure your boat is in proper working order. After sitting all winter, some things should be inspected before you get your boat up and running. Summerset Boat Lifts has gathered a few tips for de-winterizing your boat and getting it ready for spring:

1. Inspect the Engine. 

If you didn't change the engine oil at the end of the season, you'll want to do that now. Change the oil filter while you're at it as well. Adding the right oil additive can keep your engine clean and corrosion free. Be sure to check the out-drive oil too, making sure it's clean and ready for you to start the engine.

2. Test the Battery. 

If you have water in your battery, be sure it stays full of water; if and when it dries out, it's no longer good. Use a battery tester to check out the amps and volts. If the battery is incapable of holding a charge, then you may need to purchase a replacement battery.  If it is holding charge, attach the cables after cleaning any corrosion from the battery terminals.

3. Fill Up the Cooling System. 

You should have drained the cooling system before winter to avoid freezing lines. Be sure to examine the hoses for any cracks and empty out the strainer. If you have an outboard engine that uses an impeller cooling system, make sure that the rubber impeller is not cracked. If all looks good, fill everything back up so you're ready to go!

4. Examine the Gas Tank. 

You should have filled the tank up completely at the end of the season to ensure moisture didn't have a chance to form in there. You'll still want to make sure that the fuel filter has been changed and be sure to inspect the fuel lines for cracks. It's not uncommon for the cooler winter temperatures to cause the lines to crack. If you did not use an additive in your gas to prevent water contamination and/or fuel separation, drain the gas from the fuel tank, as it is probably stale.

5. Clean the Distributor. 

The distributor can become corroded during the winter months. To clean out the distributor, you'll need to take its cap off. Once you've checked it out, be sure the connections are tightly hooked back up.

6. Check the Boat's Belts. 

If any of the belts seem too loose, they need to be changed as that is a sign they are worn. To test if it's worn, try pushing down on it. While it should push down slightly, any significant movement is not good. The alternator belt can wear out faster than the others so pay special attention to it. You can also look for black soot near the pulley, as that is another sign the belts are worn.

Be sure to check your owner's manual to see if there are any other steps specific to your boat that need to be taken during the de-winterization process. However, before you start your de-winterizing process, it's important to have spring maintenance done on your Lake of the Ozarks boat lift. Call the best boat lift company at the Lake of the Ozarks at 573-348-5037 to come out and take a look before you head out on the water for the first time this season!
1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065

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