It's late April and time to start thinking about spring river fishing or
inland open water seasons. Here's where those boat storage tips from last fall
really pay off.
For starters, before embarking on an ice-out crappie adventure, make sure
that battery is charged. You don't want to arrive at the access with a dead
battery, and the same with your trolling motor battery.
Run the charger on both to maximum capacity. With a wet cell battery, be
sure to check water levels.
Next, if you didn't do it last fall, get a good coat of wax on your boat.
This will improve your gas mileage by creating less drag resistance on the
trailer (wind) or in the water.
Speaking of trailers, check tire pressure and wear on the treads. If there's
weather damage, cracks, etc. on tires, figure this out before you're 50 miles
down the road. Also, don't gamble with old, worn-out winch straps and mount. If
there's any type of fraying, replace it. A buddy had one break on him once
while he was unloading solo, and he needed stitches out of the deal.
Other obvious pre-flight checklist items include trying the trailer lights,
and checking the surge brakes and brake fluid. How's the carpeting on the bunks?
Is it worn out or torn? If so, replace it and the same goes with your rollers.
Finally, if you're headed out on a long-distant trip, take your boat out a
few days before to a local public access and run that motor for a short time.
Make sure it's running well before you travel hundreds of miles!
One last tip: Use a fuel conditioner in your gas. With ethanol more
prevalent in gasoline these days, the conditioner will help prevent engine
clogging, especially with motors containing two-stroke carburetors.
Good luck during the open water season!
For a fine selection of Marine accessories, including boat maintenance and trailer accessories, click here.