Spring Commissioning Checklist

Please review the below checklist to ensure your boat will be ready for the upcoming season.
NOTE: Federal requirements and safety tips for recreational boaters are marked with (*).
WARNING: Some repairs and adjustments should be performed only by qualified mechanics or technicians. If in doubt consult your owner’s manual.
□ (*) Check battery terminals, fluid levels, and charge state (replace wing nuts with standard nuts and lock washers) to confirm batteries are secured and covered.
□ (*) Check navigation and anchor lights and lenses. Clean or replace where necessary.
□ (*) Check horn or other sound producing devices such as a whistle.
□ Inventory your back up/repair equipment (bulbs, fuses, wrenches/tools, spare fuel filters, spare whistle, etc.). Store all equipment in an accessible watertight container.
□ Check all thru-hull fittings for leaks or corrosion. Make sure seacock handles turn easily and consider wooden plugs tied to each thru-hull in event of hose or thru-hull failure.
□ Locate and inspect all sacrificial anodes (zincs) and replace if more than 50% consumed.
□ Check hose clamps and hoses. Consider keeping extra hoses and clamps in your parts kit.
□ Sniff fuel compartment for fuel odors and address any issues immediately.
□ Test all bilge pumps and automatic switches (both mechanical or electrical).
□ Check In line raw water strainers for debris.
□ Inspect all dock lines and replace worn and stiff lines.
□ (*) Inspect anchor(s), anchor lines and shackles and repair or replace as needed.
□ (*) Inspect Marine Sanitation Device (MSD).
□ Inspect deck plates and o-ring seals. Clean and lubricate o-rings with plumbers grease to keep deck water out.
□ Inspect fuel fill gasket. Replace if worn or damaged.
□ Inspect fuel sending unit for corrosion and replace if necessary.
□ (*) Test VHF radio and all electronics for proper operation.
□ Inspect scuppers. Assure they are clear and not full of debris and that the rubber back-wash flappers are in working correctly.
□ Check lifelines and replace or adjust where necessary.
□ Check all canvas and covers and tubing and isinglass. Repair or replace where necessary. Make sure all snaps and tie downs are in place.
□ Check stuffing box for leakage and replace packing if necessary.
□ (*) Check stove and sinks. Make sure stove fuel supply is securely mounted and fittings are tight.
□ Thoroughly check all steering and control cables. Replace, lubricate, and adjust as necessary.
□ (*) Inspect all life jackets. Make sure enough are on board and you have correct sizes and types. Replace any that are torn and consider attaching whistle to each life jacket. Check suspender type vests for proper operation. Check/replace CO2 cartridges on inflatable jackets.
□ (*) Check all fire extinguishers. Replace if outdated, corroded or showing low pressure.
□ (*) Check flares and other visual distress devices. Flares with expired dates should be retained if in good condition.
□ (*) Check state registration numbers on hull. Replace if necessary.
□ (*) Make sure state registration is on board with an up-to-date sticker.
□ (*) Make sure documentation papers (if applicable) are current and on board.
□ (*) Check and upgrade first-aid kit.
□ Check if insurance and proof of towing coverage is up to date and on board.
□ Confirm all charts and cruising guides are on board and are valid.
□ Get Vessel Safety Examination at earliest opportunity.

At engine start up:
□ Check fuel and oil levels.
□ Check cooling water drain levels.
□ Check for abnormal sounds when cranking motor.
□ Do not run a diesel starter motor for more than 15 seconds continuously.
□ Diesel engines should warm-up 2 to 3 minutes in neutral first.
□ Bleed the fuel system if the engine does not start and fuel is reaching engine. Learn how to bleed
your system in event you run out of fuel and/or air enters system.

□ It is recommended not to test-run boats out of water, even with “muffs,” or resultant impeller
damage may occur. If muff is used be sure to operate engine at idle speed.
□ Check impellers for wear or damage. Impellers are typically rubber, and decay over time.
□ Keep engines tuned up – Consider replacing spark plugs/plug wires/cap & rotor at the start of
season, or at least inspect often to assure proper operation and fuel efficiency.
□ (*) Check for any engine oil leaks, such as a valve cover gasket or rear main seal. Look for oil in the
bilge. If found correct problem immediately.
□ Check condition of engine belts such as alternator, fresh water pumps, etc. Include spare belt(s) in
your repair kit.
□ Inspect fuel/water separator for contamination. Re-inspect after using the first tank of fuel of the
□ Change fuel filters/in-line filters at least annually or more often depending on use.
□ Most fuel pumps have a glass bowl. Check the glass bowl for evidence of fuel. If fuel exists in the
bowl, the fuel pump is malfunctioning.
□ (*) Check back flame arrestor. Dirty arrestors should be cleaned.
□ (*) Make sure engine compartment ventilation system is working correctly with air being
discharged through the vents.

□ Locate, inspect and replace sacrificial anodes (zincs) if more than 50% consumed.
□ Clean cooling water passages.
□ Inspect cowling clamp.
□ Inspect fuel filter, replace if necessary.
□ Inspect fuel system for leaks.
□ Change gear oil.
□ Change engine oil.
□ Replace oil filter.
□ Inspect power trim/tilt mechanism.
□ Grease at recommended grease points – see owners manual.
□ Check propeller(s) for dents and nicks. Replace or repair if found.
□ Inspect and lubricate shift cable and adjust if necessary.
□ Inspect and lubricate throttle cable and adjust if necessary.
□ Inspect water pump/water flow indicator.
□ Inspect, clean, adjust or replace spark plugs.