Activities Sports & Athletics De-Winterizing Your Boat for Spring Prepare your vessel for the spring and summer Share PINTEREST Email Print Alan Thornton/Stockbyte/Getty Images Sports & Athletics Extreme Sports Basics Obstacle Races Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Julie Bostian Julie Bostian is a water sports writer focusing on water skiing, boating, wakeboarding, and parasailing. our editorial process Julie Bostian Updated February 22, 2019 So, you have got that itching spring fever to uncover the boat and get her wet for the first time this season. There is nothing worse than being gathered at the dock with a boat-load of people and you turn the key and...rrr..rrr..rrr...and nothing. It is likely this will happen if you do not take the time to de-winterize your boat. Do an inspection before setting out on the first trip of the season. To avoid any embarrassment and frustration, use the following pre-launch checklist to get your boat as ready for the boating season as you are. Oil Check If you did not change the engine oil when you put the boat up for the season, now is the time to do it. Make sure you change the oil filter also. Check the oil in the outdrive. Battery Inspection Reattach the cables. Make sure the terminals are not corroded. If so, wipe them clean. If your battery takes water, fill it up. A dry battery is a bad battery. With a battery tester, check the volts and amps. Does it have juice? If it is charged and still no luck, it may be time to buy a new battery. Cooling System Hopefully, you drained the cooling system if you live in a cold winter climate to prevent freezing. If so, fill 'er back up. Rinse out the strainer and check the hoses for cracks. Fuel System You also should have topped off the tank with gas to prevent any moisture and condensation forming in the tank and diluting the gas. Change the fuel filter. Make sure the fuel line is attached and not cracked. In the winter these hoses can become dry and brittle. Distributor Take the distributor cap off and clean it out. Corrosion could have occurred during the winter. Make sure all connections are restored. Belts Tighten the belts if needed. You should only be able to push the belt slightly down. If the belts do not fit snugly in their pulley grooves, they may be worn and in need of replacement. Belts that are not tight will wear faster because they will likely begin to slip. The alternator belt usually wears faster than the others. A sign of a worn belt is black soot somewhere in the vicinity of the pulley. Other Things You Shouldn't Ignore Change the spark plugs Lubricate the engine with WD-40 Check all hoses Check power steering/cables Test the bilge pump Replace the drain plug Check rudder and shafts Inspect the prop Test the horn Test the VHF radio Check the trim Inspect personal flotation devices Check the fire extinguisher expiration date Make sure the anchor in on board The above de-winterizing tips are only a list of suggested things to do your boat. Each boat may vary as to what needs to be done to de-winterize it. For complete instructions please see your boat's owners manual or consult your boat mechanic. Of course, at the end of the season take proper steps to winterize your boat.