Preparing Your Boat for the Holiday Season

With the fast approaching holiday period knocking on our doors, preparing your Pro-line boat for the season should be one of your top priorities before festivities kick in. Even though we experience extremely mild and temperate winters in Florida, if you are not planning to make use of your Pro-line boat this season there are a few things you need to do to make sure it will be ready for you when you do begin to use it again.

The first thing you need to do is take your boat out for one last spin. While doing so make a note of anything that needs to be seen to, fixed or replaced. If there are any cracks it is crucial that you get them repaired before the winter as these can rapidly worsen. Just as you go for your yearly physical with your doctor to make sure all is in order, so should your boat have its annual check up before holiday season strikes. In doing this you not only tackle minor issues before they become major problems, but you also ensure that when you next use your boat it will be ready ride.

The second thing to do is to get your Pro-line cleaned. Beginning an offseason with a clean boat will ensure the longevity of your boat in the long run, plus it will mean that your boat will be tip top and ready to use as soon as you are back in boating action. Go through all live wells, storage areas, lockers, drawers, and fish holds and clean out any dirt, moisture or oil and inset commercial moisture absorbers to make sure that mould and mildew is kept at bay. Don’t forget to lift and clean all cushions too!

If you have an inboard or stern drive boat that utilizes a raw water cooling system, it is a good idea to completely flush the engine with fresh water. Doing this will get rid of salt, dirt and corrosion that may have built up. Running anti-freeze into the cooling system is also a good idea if you live in an extreme climate. If you intend on storing your boat make sure you drain ALL water from the engine.

Take care of your fuel system by topping off your fuel tank (this prevents condensation) and changing the fuel filter. If you are concerned about keeping your system and tank clean you can look into adding a marine fuel stabilizer – just make sure to circulate the stabilizer through the tank by running the engine for a couple of minutes. When it comes to stern drive, inboard engines and four-stroke outboards be sure to change the engine oil and oil filter and consider lubricating all fittings, moving metal parts and even trailers with marine grease or water displacing lubricant.

In terms of electronics, give all systems on your Pro-line boat a thorough once over looking for signs of worn cables, busted insulation, visible corrosion, burnt out fuses, dodgy wiring and loose connections. Examine all the engine belts for excessive wear or cracking and test hose clamps for tightness. If you find zinc anodes that are more than 50% diminished make sure you replace them and seek out any holes in rubber bellows on rigging tubes as these can invite moisture damage. Finally refill fluid levels on hydraulic steering if necessary.

If you know your Pro-line boat will not be used for an extended period of time a good idea is to remove all movable objects from your boat, cover it up with a strong and sturdy cover and put it into dry storage for the time that it will not be in use. Taking good care of your Pro-line boat over the holiday season will ensure that you can enjoy it for many years to come.