Getting Your Boat Ready for Summer

Spring is here and if you’re like us, you can’t wait to get back on the water. But before you do, we wanted to pass along a few tips about getting your boat ready to go. We found a nice checklist on Feel free to print this out for use this spring.

Clean and inspect. After you remove the boat cover or tarp, take time to wipe-down, vacuum, power wash and, while you’re at it, wax your hull. While you’re giving your boat a good cleaning, check for cracks or damage.

Check the battery. Wipe terminals clean if they are corroded and check the strength with a battery tester. If it’s not charged, it might be time to purchase a new one.

Engine check. Install new spark plugs, lubricate connections, grease the propeller shaft, reconnect fuel lines and check all hoses.

Fill-er up. Fill up the cooling system, top off the gas tank, change the fuel filter, change the oil and the oil filer.

Start your engine. If you can, test your engine at home by placing the prop in a bucket of water or spraying it with a garden hose. It’s normal for the engine to smoke when you start it for the first time. When the engine is running, check for leaks from the cooling system and make sure the discharge stream is spitting out in a straight line.

Check your gear. When you’re putting equipment back in your boat, inspect your equipment to make sure it’s in good shape, is not expired and is in working condition.  This includes things like life preservers, first-aid kits, fire extinguishers, flares, ropes and electronics.

Don’t forget the trailer. Look for wear and tear, cracks or bends. Check lights and signals to make sure they’re working. Make sure straps are in good shape, with no fraying and the coupler and latch is tight.

At launch. Pay attention to the bilge and make sure there are no leaks. Make sure the water intake mechanism is working properly and the engine is shifting smoothly.

Are you covered? Check with your insurance agent to make sure you have proper coverage. Ask them about the differences between Agreed Value and Actual Cash Value and be sure to know what your coverages will mean should you have a claim.


Canvas Craft wants to ensure you also have the proper tools needed to clean and maintain your boat cover in the coming season.

Cover Maintenance. Use a mild soap (like dish detergent) and water solution with a wash mitt, rinse and allow to dry. Do not roll up the cover and store cover when damp or wet.  Mold/Mildew can grow on fabric and be difficult to remove from your cover or upholstery. Always replace and/or repair your cover promptly if damage occurs.

Traveling with your cover? Here’s what we suggest:

Snap Covers. Be certain to use all snaps, poles should be pushed up tight to hold cover tight for travel. During or after first trip check all snaps.  Usually if there is a problem it is at the rear of the boat. We typically can remedy any problem with other types of fasteners.  Do not let a cover wind whip this will cause damage to your boat and cover. We suggest a product called Snap Lube if the snaps become difficult to unsnap.  This product is available at Canvas Craft.

Tie Down Covers. If you have a rope it should be cinched first, then attach tie downs. Use all tie downs – stretch tight, poles should be pushed up tight to hold cover tight for travel. Take note how and where the tie downs are attached to the trailer.  It is best to use the same tension and same locations each time.

Contact us with other questions you have when getting your boat ready for the summer! We're happy to help in any way we can.