As the cold months rolled in, you winterized your boat and put her into storage. Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to pull her out, throw off the covers and get her into shape for spring and summer sailing or cruising. In case you’re not sure where to start with your de-winterization process, the fine folks of Norfolk Marine have created this convenient guide to cleaning up and inspecting your boat so she’s ready for the water. Our dealership is located in Norfolk, near Virginia Beach and Suffolk, Virginia, and our service department is here to help you out with any major repairs.

Initial Inspection

As soon as you remove your boat from the shed, garage or simply throw off the tarp or canvas covering her on your driveway, you should give her a thorough inspection from bow to stern. Open all the hatches and check for any damage you might have missed during the winterization process in the fall, as well as any that might have been incurred since then. The likely culprits of any current damage to your boat are mold and mildew, as well as any nesting animals or insects looking for warmth. Look over the hull to make sure there are no cracks or weak points in the welding. If you can’t fix something easily yourself, don’t hesitate to take your boat into a service shop for repairs. The mechanics at Norfolk Marine can get you sorted out quickly and easily!

Engine Check

Now that you’ve determined your boat looks okay on the outside, it is time to check the moving parts. Remove the nacelle from your outboard motor or open the engine bay for your inboard motor and take a look around. Check the coolant, oil and other engine fluids to make sure they’re topped up and clean and fill up the fuel tank. Look at the gaskets and engine heads to make sure they’re not leaking. Remove a spark plug and check it for corrosion. Perform all the engine repairs now so that they don’t trouble you by causing issues out on the water.

Test Electronics

All of your usual boating equipment likely needs to be tested before you put it back on your boat. This includes GPS and fish finders, which might need new batteries. Look over your safety equipment to ensure that everything is there and that your first-aid kit and repair kit contain everything you might need. Make sure your fire extinguisher is still up to date, too.

Canvas Inspection

Your boat’s canvas covering might have sustained some mold damage over the winter, so you should look it over, clean off mildew and patch up any tears before they become too large to fix. The seat coverings on your boat might also be torn or worn out by sun damage and mildew, so check these over and replace them as necessary.

Clean Up

Finally, while you likely cleaned your boat up last fall, she may have accrued some dust and debris in the meantime. Sweep any dead leaves off the deck, dust and wipe down the console, clean the glass and polish the chrome. Rinse out your livewell and your coolers if you have them so they don’t retain odors. Your passengers will truly appreciate the extra work you put in for this step, and you’ll enjoy having a clean, shining boat ready for whatever marine adventures await you!

Are you in the market to upgrade your current boat or to add to your fleet? Come down to our showroom today to see the great new and used boats we have in stock. We carry many different styles of boat, so you’re sure to find one that suits you and your family’s needs. Norfolk Marine serves the cities of Suffolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia, with our convenient Norfolk dealership location.