Water Craft Maintenance  Courtesy Of Paul’s Automotive

[media-credit name=”bigstockphoto” align=”alignleft” width=”300″]Adjusting Tie Down Straps On Boat Trailer[/media-credit]

Warm weather is here! The lake is calling you to come out and play. The wind, the speed, the waves… but wait… did you forget to service your pleasure boat or personal water craft? They require regular oil changes. The frequency will vary by model, but a good rule of thumb is to change the oil every 100 hours of operation or at least once a year. Remember, your valued investment and summer toy has been sitting approximately a year and needs attention before hitting the water.


If you remembered to winterized your toy you need to re-install the fluids, drain plugs, replace the filter, make sure the battery is charged, and check the ignition system. If you forgot to winterize your toy, you may have other issues occurring that you do not want to find out about on the middle of a lake.


I always forget about my trailer. I admit I have been stuck on the side of the road just because I did not think about repacking those wheel bearings after dunking that trailer in and out of the lake the year before.


Trailer lights, do they still work? Are any of the wires hanging? What shape are the tires in? Is it time for trailer brakes? A curvy, steep road with no place to pull over is not the time to find these things out.


Ensure that your bilge (force) pump is functioning properly. Having your boat sink is a sure fire way to dampen your outing. The correct battery and condition of battery is essential to the length of time the pump will run and may be the difference between a new found lake reef or getting your boat back to dry land.


What about the vehicle you are using to tow your toy? Is it ready for summer fun? Pulling a loaded trailer is a lot of work for your vehicle. Your vehicle needs to be in the best operating condition possible. I offer a summer special that includes (for most vehicles): Oil Service, Brake Inspection, Starting / Charging System Testing, AC Service and Pressure Test of Cooling/ Heating systems.  Bring your vehicle and summer toy in together to help limit the amount of time you spend in a shop instead of at the lake.


Remember to check your emergency kits too!  Everyone should have an emergency kit in their vehicle.  It is recommended to have flares, duct and electrical tape, drinking water, a first aid kit, blankets, clothing, a hand held radio, engine oil, washer fluid, coolant and a flashlight. Be sure to check or change your flashlight and radio batteries before every trip. The same kit should be in your boat with these additions: a water-resistant dry box to store your items in, a tarp, spark plugs, spare fuel hose / line, an incredibly loud air horn, aerial flares (flare gun), and a highly visible distress flag. Ask your Harbor Master if you should have other supplies based on the body of water you are enjoying that day.


Take care of your toys before your day of fun turns into a day that is done.