Spring Commissioning Checklist

 

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Get Your Aluminum Fishing Boat Ready for Spring

In most of North America, this time of year is cold. Your boat is wrapped up or in storage. If you’re not in a place that has decent ice fishing to distract you, your fishing gear is sitting waiting for attention. Your mind is thinking about the new lures or boat accessories you need to stock up on. You are practicing your casts in the shower or maybe that’s just me.

I have an Alumacraft under cover and most of my gear is set up just the way I like it. My tackle box is full of the essentials, each rod has its place within easy reach and all my favorite spots are programmed into my fishfinder. With the new year, I, of course, renewed my fishing license and boat registration, but what other things do you have to consider when getting your boat ready to go back in the water?

 

 

Get Your Aluminum Fishing Boat Ready for Spring – Get On The Water!

Spring Commissioning Checklist Get Your Aluminum Fishing Boat Ready for Spring this time of year is cold. Your boat is wrapped up

Voyageur 175 Tiller

Discoverboating.com, Takemefishing.org, and BoatUS.com all have very similar checklists to go over before you get back out on the water and your local Americas Boating Club squadron offers free vessel safety checks to get you ready for the season. The long and short of it all is to inspect your boat and gear to make sure everything is in perfect shape and any repairs that are needed are taken care of before the season. Nothing is worse than having the time and the weather to hit the water, but you’re stuck waiting for parts or repairs. Essentially, you can break down any pre-season inspections into several sections: boat hull and systems, engine, electrical, trailer, safety equipment, and accessories/fishing gear.

 

Boat Systems

Inspect and lubricate seacocks if you’ve got them; cotter pins, hoses, and hose clamps should be inspected and replaced as necessary, and deteriorated zincs should be replaced. You should check for corrosion or cracks on props and shafts. With a fiberglass boat, you’d inspect the hull for blisters and stress cracks – one of the benefits of an aluminum hull boat is that this isn’t an issue. You should check any water intakes, sea strainers, and filters for sediment or blockages. Check power steering and engine oil levels. This is a great time to change fuel filters while inspecting fuel lines and vent hoses. You should clean and tighten electrical connections, especially both ends of battery cables and wire-brush battery terminals for a positive connection.

 

Spring Commissioning Checklist Get Your Aluminum Fishing Boat Ready for Spring this time of year is cold. Your boat is wrapped up

Get Your Aluminum Fishing Boat Ready for Spring – Inspect Your Systems

Trailer

When getting your trailer ready, make sure you check the treads and air pressure in your tires, especially if it’s been sitting for months. Test tail and back-up lights and test the winch so there are no surprises at the boat ramp. If your trailer has been exposed to the weather for the winter, check the frame for rust and sand and paint it to keep it in top shape for the next few seasons. Don’t forget your registration!

 

Spring Commissioning Checklist Get Your Aluminum Fishing Boat Ready for Spring this time of year is cold. Your boat is wrapped up

Get Your Aluminum Fishing Boat Ready for Spring – Safety Gear

Safety

I have a ditch bag I check and bring with me every time I get on the water, but some people leave their safety equipment in the boats. Be sure to check expiration dates on required safety equipment like flares and fire extinguishers. Inspect the bilge pump and float switch to make sure it’s working properly; this is a good time to clean the bilge and touch up any paint inside. Take out your dock and anchor lines and look for chafing. Update or replace old paper and electronic charts and waterway guides. Review your boat insurance policy and update coverage if needed and be sure you have fuel spill insurance coverage. Finally, make sure you have properly sized and wearable life jackets in good condition for each passenger, including kids and pets.

 

Spring Commissioning Checklist Get Your Aluminum Fishing Boat Ready for Spring this time of year is cold. Your boat is wrapped up

Spring Commissioning Checklist, Safety is all that matters

 

Get Your Aluminum Fishing Boat Ready for Spring – Equipment

Tackle and Gear

Some elements of a fishing excursion are obvious, like rods and reels, but also be sure your gear includes a well-stocked first aid kit, sunscreen, sunglasses to reduce glare from the water, snacks, and water to keep you safely hydrated. Bring plenty of extra line and tackle so you don’t have to call a day short if you snag a favorite lure. If you’re planning to keep your catch, be sure to plan for a livewell or a cooler with ice to safely transport your catch back home. Once you’ve checked everything, you can sit back and relax knowing that you are ready for when the weather breaks and you can get back on the water.

 

For fishing and family fun, learn more about the incredible models, options, and durability of Alumacraft boats today by visiting www.alumacraft.com. Don’t forget to follow Alumacraft on their Facebook and Instagram profiles and subscribe to the Alumacraft YouTube channel.

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