RBC I As the spring season emerges and temperatures begin to rise, most state parks are once again open. Now is the time to properly de-winterize your boat to make sure it is functional before heading out on the water.
“When nice weekends start popping up, be ready to take advantage!” said Kris Wahlers, CPW boat program manager. “Instead of using a nice weekend to get the boat ready or worse, get to the lake before finding out you have a problem, get it ready now.”
CPW recommends several things to check as you prepare your boat for the boating season. First, try to drain out any water that may have found its way into your boat during winter. This will help avoid the accumulation of mold, rust, and any potential damage to components as temperatures rise.
With water muffs properly installed and working, start your boat at home to make sure it runs. Be careful to keep the water flowing and not let it run long or overheating may result. It’s a lot less embarrassing to have a boat not start in the driveway than on a crowded dock.
Check the battery to see if it can still hold a charge after the cold winter months. This can be done by taking a conventional car battery charger and checking if the battery holds 100 percent of the charge it is given. If the battery has a full charge and the motor still won’t turn on, replace any fuses that may have broken during the winter.
Check fuel lines for cracks/leaks or signs of rodents chewing on them, make sure hoses are connected, check fittings and connections to make sure they are tight, make sure plugs are in good shape and installed before heading out on the water.
Sign up for a boating safety class. CPW hosts nearly 100 classes throughout the state from April to September, not to mention the online options for boaters over 15. Nearly 90 percent of boat operators involved in an accident last year had no or no known boating safety education, and that included the people who “have been boating all their life” and “… know everything there is to know about boating.”
Next, take a look at all boating safety equipment to ensure it is still serviceable. Boat safety items are required and include personal flotation devices, a sound-making device, fire extinguisher, navigation lights and 2015 boat registration with visible CL numbers. This is an important step because during the winter months many of these items are subject to cold weather elements that can cause them to wear or become unserviceable.
When you do get on the water for the first time, keep an eye on the temperature of your engine as sometimes after sitting in winter storage water pump impellers can fail and lead to a costly and potentially dangerous engine overheat.
There is no substitute for the professional advice of a local boat service center. If there are any concerns about the condition of a boat or ability to be functional out on the water for your first outing, call your local boat factory authorized center for professional advice.
“You can use these steps as a precaution to check your boat and lower the chances of there being any serious problems with your boat this boating season,” Wahlers added.
Get a 2015 boat registration now and avoid additional fees and fines out on the water. Learn more about all the 2015 boating regulations including registration at cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/boat.aspx.