It might seem like winter is going to last forever—particularly if you live in a cold climate—but spring will be here before you know it. For some people, that means picnics, hikes, and outdoor barbecues.
For avid boat owners, that means just one thing: boating season.
And if estimates relating to this winter’s El Niño phenomenon hold up, unseasonably warm spring temperatures might be even closer than you think. What does that mean for the avid boater? It means taking a little bit of time to prepare for a busy boating season. Here’s everything you need to keep in mind in advance of the spring thaw.
Getting the Basics Out of the Way: A Checklist
If you’re in a cold weather climate—or even a downright frigid climate—that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do to make the transition to the boating season smoother for yourself. Here’s a brief checklist of some crucial elements some boat owners forget until the last minute:
- Registration/License/Decal: These should all be up to date if you don’t want a friendly chat with the local authorities. Scan the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state to ensure you’re living up to all of the rules and regulations—even if you’ve done your best in the past, there’s a chance something’s changed in your area for 2016.
- Inspection: This step can wait until you’re getting your boat out of winter storage unless you want to do it twice. But before you use your boat, it’s vital to inspect the hull, battery, navigation, and more—and all safety equipment should be checked in order to ensure it’s still in working shape. You don’t want to encounter an emergency and find out that a life vest has been damaged. And don’t forget to check the trailer connection with which you’ll tow your boat this spring—one mistake with a bad connection can result in damage well before you even get your boat in the water.
- Stock up: In case your inspections do reveal some needs—even if it’s simply in the way of cleaning—it can’t hurt to stock up on the right equipment. Fiberglass Powder Cleaner, Life-Calk Solvent, and Boat Cleaner are just a few of the items to consider adding to your boat supplies.
Research Your Favorite Locations
Whether you’re wrapped in blankets near a warm fire or simply keeping your boat out of the water this winter, there’s no better time to do a little research and discover some great boating venues and events in your area:
- Marinas. If you plan on storing your boat in a marina this summer, do a little research and compare a few to see if there are any significant differences in price.
- Event calendars. Boating shows, fishing competitions, you name it—if you want to attend, the time to start planning is now. Different shows and events will likely require advanced registration, which means you won’t want to be stuck in spring and summer with nothing to do.
Shop BoatLIFE Products
If you need to stock up on supplies before next season, whether they’re boat cleaning supplies, restorers, solvents & removers, and more, be sure to browse our list of boat products to pick up anything you might need. After all, winter won’t last forever.