After a long winter of dreaming about watersports, getting your boat ready for spring is one chore most people don’t mind doing.
If you did a thorough winterization before putting your boat in storage, the recommissioning process should be easy. Before the weather finally cooperates, get a head start by getting all your watersports gear together.
Step 1: Grand (Re)Opening
Before each season, it’s a good idea to read the Heyday Owner’s Manual to refamiliarize yourself with the systems on your boat.
One of its many recommendations is to let your dealer handle the spring recommissioning of your boat’s engine, fuel and steering systems. There are a lot of procedures to follow and failing to perform just one task can have serious consequences. Experienced owners can carefully inspect the engine (with the motor off) to check the condition of hoses, the serpentine belt and wiring.
If you shrink-wrapped your boat, cut it off with a safety knife, not a box cutter, to avoid scratching the gelcoat. Make a parallel cut 10 inches from the bottom and dispose of the part with the string and roll the remaining plastic and recycle it.
Step 2: Gear Inspection
Examine all wakeboards, skim boards or surfboards carefully, including the screws that hold bindings and fins. Make sure all floatation devices still fit and are in good condition. Do an inventory of safety devices like the fire extinguisher and first aid kit. Also, double-check your boat documentation, tag, and insurance coverage.
Boat trailer maintenance is an important part of the spring pre-launch equation. Carefully inspect the trailer starting at the front with the coupler and winch. Lubricate moving parts and make sure the winch strap is in good condition. Check the tires’ inflation level and tread for excessive wear or sidewall cracking. The hubs should have ample grease. Ensure all lights are operational and that the tie-down straps are good to go. After launching the boat for the first time, go over each bunk and inspect other items like springs and frame, which are hard to see with the boat in place.
Step 3: Care and Cleaning
Before cleaning the interior, take off all cushions and carefully inspect the compartments for unwanted visitors or mold and check each cushion for mildew or small rips. Boat vinyl maintenance begins with a thorough, yet gentle cleaning with non-detergent PH-neutral soap mixed with warm water worked with a medium-bristle brush followed by a clean water rinse. For Heyday wake boats with the optional GatorStep padded decking, use Hula Boat Care RAD Marine Clean All & Protect #5 by spraying it on and wiping it off; no rinse needed. Fiberglass decks should be cleaned using the same procedure as with the vinyl.
For fiberglass maintenance, wash the hull with a gentle, PH-balanced boat soap mixed with warm water. Then to add a protective barrier, wax the hull with a boat-specific product like Meguiar's Flagship Premium Marine Wax, which is easy to apply and can be wiped off with a soft rag or buffed with a dual action polisher.
After waiting all winter to get back out on the water, taking care of all the spring commissioning details will make sure that your first trip of the year is everything you dreamed it would be.