If you are lucky enough to own or have access to a lake home, spring is one of the most exciting and busy time of the year. Depending on where you live, it may be lake weather already or you may be counting down the days until summer when you can relax and enjoy the lake weather. It is time to start working on all the maintenance tasks that you neglected over the winter and prepare your lake home for the fun that lies ahead. As the excitement starts to build, make sure you put the following tasks on your checklist:
- Kitchen – The place you prepare and enjoy meals needs to be clean and inviting. Cleaning dishwasher and sink may take some scrubbing, and the countertops and cabinets just need a quick wipe down to get things looking good again.
- Bathrooms – No matter how well you cleaned the bathroom at the end of last summer you are likely to see a few things that need attention. Rust stains in bathtub or sink and stains in toilet bowl or tank appear after a long winter of neglect. Use a product like Super Iron Out and some elbow grease to make the bathroom sparkle.
- Dusting and Cobwebs – Even if you keep the lake house closed for the winter, dust and cobwebs will find a way to take over. A quick run through with a duster or cloth and cleaner can get rid of this nuisance.
- Outdoor Areas – Check your patio furniture and other outdoor equipment to make sure everything is in good working order. Remove rust from concrete and any stains on your deck to help them look their best too.
- Check Plumbing and HVAC Systems – Before you plan to spend any significant time in your lake house, make sure the plumbing and HVAC systems are operational and change filters, run water through the pipes and take care of other maintenance tasks.
De-winterizing your boat should take no time at all if you properly prepared it before you stowed it away for the cold weather months.
Even boats that were properly stowed away for the winter need an inspection before putting them on a trailer and heading to the water.
So, kill two birds with one stone: after uncovering the boat give it a thorough cleaning inside and out. While you are cleaning, it is a good time to look over the boat for cracks or gouges in the hull. At the same time, check around for missing rivets.
When you finish sprucing up the interior and exterior, you are ready to complete your de-winterizing checklist.
Six Steps For Getting Your Boat Ready For The Season
1. Check The Engine
A thorough check of the engine includes an oil change. Also, inspect the out oil drive making certain that it is clean and ready for you to start the engine. Do not forget to change the oil filter, and adding the right oil additive can keep your engine clean and corrosion free.
2. Refill The Cooling System
Knowledgeable boat owners always drain the cooling system before storing the boat for winter to prevent the coolant line from freezing. Check the hoses for cracks and holes and be sure to empty the strainer.
If everything looks good, refill the system. If you have an outboard engine that uses an impeller cooling system, make sure that the rubber impeller is not cracked.
3. Check Your Battery
Check your battery and if needed, top off any fluids. It is best to use distilled water for this task. Using a battery tester, check the amps and volts. Should the battery be incapable of holding a charge it most likely needs replacement. If it is holding a charge, attach the cables after cleaning any corrosion from the battery terminals.
4. Clean The Distributor
Clean the distributor. In order to do this task, you first remove the distributor cap. During the winter, distributors often corrode. When finished, hook all connections up tightly.
5. Examine The Fuel System
While boat owners drain the cooling system, they fill the fuel tank when winterizing the boat to prevent moisture from forming. Carefully inspect the fuel line for cracks. Freezing temperatures can easily crack these lines. Change the fuel filter if it’s the same one you used last season.
If you did not put an additive in the gas to prevent water contamination and/or fuel separation, drain the gas from the fuel tank, as the gas is probably stale. When you fill the tank, add a quality non-ethanol containing additive to prevent damage from E10 gas.
6. Check For Worn Belts
Worn belts need replacement. To see if your belts need replacement due to wear, press down on them. The “give” should be insignificant. If a belt has a lot of give replace it. Another method for determining wear is looking near pulleys for soot. Soot means worn belts that need replacement.
Check your owner’s manual for any other things you need for completing de-winterizing your boat and putting it into the water.
These tasks are just a few that you may want to complete to help get your lake property in tiptop shape.
Have fun this summer!