Getting Prepped: Pre-Season Boat Tune up
After a long winter that seemed like it would never end, many anglers are itching to get out in their boats. We at Exist To Fish are no different, so we would like to share a few tips with you to ensure your first trip of the season goes smoothly.
Now is the time to check your tires for any wear and tear. If needed replace them now. The last thing anyone wants is to be changing a blown tire especially on their first trip of the season. Speaking of tires, if you did happen to blow a tire last season and didn’t have a chance to pick up a new one, now would be a good time. After sitting all winter I like to check the air pressure in my tires to ensure that I haven’t loss any air in them over the winter months. Since you’re already checking your tires, take a minute to grease your wheel bearings and if your wheel bearings are filled with oil make sure the oil level is correct before heading out, because there is nothing worse than blowing a wheel bearing on the highway.
Seeing that I already have my grease gun handy, I like to take a moment to grease all my outboard fittings to ensure easy handling of my outboard. After they’re greased, I’ll take a minute check the outboard mounting bolts and nuts by putting a wrench to them. Loose bolts and nuts can lead to wearing larger holes in your transom were your bolts are, hence leading to damaging your transom and costly repairs. It’s amazing how this step is overlooked as I was one of those anglers that over looked it until saw my friend Lund Pro Staffer Craig Salmonson checking his. Since then I check them regularly throughout the season.
While at the motor, take the time to drain the foot oil and replace it with fresh gear oil if you didn’t last fall. For the guys with four stroke outboards, now would be a good time to also change your oil filter while draining your engine oil. A little thing I like to do that seems to get overlooked at times by anglers is that I like to change my fuel filter every two years. If you didn’t add any fuel stabilizer last fall, now is a good time to add some fuel gasoline stabilizer such as Amsoil Quickshot SE Additive & Stabilizer (AQS).http://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/fuel-additives/gasoline/quickshot/?page=%2fstorefront%2faqs.aspx Next thing I like to do is to remove my prop and check for fishing line. If you find any, remove it immediately to prevent the line from cutting into the seals which could then leak water into the leg, saving you from having to install a new seal. Be sure to check that you have proper nut torque requirement for your prop when reinstalling it. If your prop nut requires a cotter pin, replace it with a new one.
Next step like to do is to check and replace any worn tie down straps and the winch strap. Better to replace them now than having them break on the highway or at the boat launch. After checking my winch strap and changing it if needed, I like to inspect the bow rubber on the winch pole for any damage and replace it if needed. While I’m still at the bow, now is a good time to check your trolling motor nuts and bolts to see if they loosened off and retighten them as needed. After I finish that, I like to take some time to check all my compartment, live well, bait well, rod locker and floor screws and retighten any that may have loosed off.
I then like to hook the boat up to the truck and check my lights. If any are burnt out, now is the time to change them. I’ve heard from time to time that some anglers had to change their trailer ball as the ball was corroded which caused their trailer lights not to ground properly.
Before you put those tools you have just used away, lug nut socket, power bar, torque bar, outboard motor prop nut socket, spare cotter pins, outboard motor mounting wrenches, and screw drivers, place them into a Rubber Maid storage bin. Placing some rags on the bottom of the bin and then some on top of the tools afterwards will prevent any bouncing around causing unwanted sound from your tools. Now you can place this bin with the right tools should you ever need them one day, into your truck/tow vehicle. If you’re using another anglers truck to tow your boat for a tournament/day trip, just take your tool bin from your truck and place it in his/her truck. Now you have all the right tools, should you need them, with you.
Finally if you know you have to change or replace any bunks or carpet on your bunk, now would be a good time to head down to a boat launch, launch your boat and replace it.
From the Staff at existtofish.com we hope by following these simple steps, the start of your season is safe and trouble free.
This article was written by Exist To Fish Canada writer David Reid and edited by Jamie Wilson-Lead Writer/Editor