It might be hard to believe when you look at the temperature, but we’re actually not far off from boating season! To assure you have a safe and uneventful season out on the water, it is important you perform certain pre-season checks every year and note any issues that you need to address.

We understand at our boat service in Fenton, MI that there are some variables to take into account based on the type and size of boat you have, but in general, here are the categories of checks you should make, along with some specific examples.

General checks

  • Clean the hull, deck and topsides and put on a coat of wax
  • Clear all drains and scuppers
  • Clean and polish metal
  • Clean teaks and oil, windows and hatches, interior elements, canvas, bimini and dodger
  • Check all spare parts and tools and replace if necessary
  • Check and replace wiper blades if needed
  • Make sure registration is fully updated


  • Check for any abrasions or scratches on the hull, and refinish as needed
  • Check and replace zincs
  • Check rudder, fittings, shaft, cutlass bearing prop and strut
  • Check swim platform/ladder and rub rails

Deck and safety

  • Check hull/deck joint
  • Check windows, deck and port lights for potential leaks
  • Check ground tackle, lines and fenders
  • Check chainplates and cleats
  • Clean and grease all winches
  • Check dinghy and life raft
  • Check and lubricate blocks and pad eyes
  • Inspect anchor windlass and lubricate

Below deck

  • Check condition of all hoses and clamps
  • Check for oil in bilges
  • Check limber holes, ensure they are clear of any debris
  • Check, test and lubricate seacocks
  • Ensure all below waterline hoses are double clamped


  • Check and recharge all batteries
  • Check terminals for any signs of corrosion, clean and lubricate
  • Check battery water level
  • Ensure you have spare fuses on board
  • Test all gauges to ensure operability
  • Inspect all wiring for wear
  • Inspect antennas
  • Check to ensure all electronic components are functioning appropriately
  • Check shore power and charger
  • Check all lighting fixtures, including navigation lights, and ensure spare bulbs are on board

Required equipment

  • Check for a sound signaling device, as well as distress signals and expiration date
  • Check PFDs
  • Check fire extinguishers, and recharge if needed
  • Check and adjust compass
  • Check all navigation lights
  • Check radar reflector
  • Check charts, replace if needed
  • Check first aid supplies and replace or replenish as needed
  • Check hand pump and bailer
  • Inspect all life rings and cushions


  • Change all filters and oil
  • Check and change engine zincs
  • Check impeller
  • Check transmission fluid
  • Check and clean backfire flame arrestor
  • Check bilge blower
  • Check and clean water strainer
  • Check cooling system and change coolant as needed

These are just a few of the categories you will need to ensure you have checked before you embark on any water journeys this season. For more checks and information, be sure to contact our boat service in Fenton, MI.