Every spring at this time we hear the same question. Is it time to get the boat out yet? With the return of 60 and 70 degree days across much of the globe it is a very common question among the worldwide Lake Fun crowd. We thought of a few ideas and things to consider as you embark on this season of warmer weather.
What is the water temperature? Snow melt from recent winter storms ultimately flows from streams into rivers, and then into lakes. This means that the water will still have a nice chill to it early in the season. Be very careful in the early parts of boating season as extremely cold water is inherently dangerous and can cause a serious shock if you fall or jump in. I always suggest wearing a life jacket, and early in the season it is very important. A jump into the water followed by a large gasp could leave you with a mouth full of cold water and mark the start of a rescue attempt. If you are not sure what your water temperature is, bring a thermometer. I usually wait until the first 80 degree day before I take a voluntary swim.
While swimming and boating may not be the weekend activity yet, chances are there are plenty of things to take care of on board your boat to get it ready for the season. Here is a small checklist to get your boat ready and depending on your vessel I bet you can think of a few more. If the water is still too cold, there is nothing wrong with having your boat ready for the first warm weekend of the spring and summer.
Test Bilge Pump
Replace Lower Unit Oil
Check Spark Plugs
Recycle Stale Boat Gas and Mix New
Start and Run boat motor to test for any problems
Check PFD’s for wear and tear
Properly inflate boat trailer tires
Unfortunately your friends will call you all summer long to go on the lake, but when you need help cleaning the boat in the spring your phone call will go straight to voicemail. I typically like to get my boat revamp started during March Madness and listen to basketball games in the background while I re-vitalize my boat for the upcoming season.
Although it may not be time to get the boat out yet, there is still plenty to be done. Our number one concern is safety and many people use the lake all year long for fishing, cruising, and relaxing. If your favorite sport is swimming just be sure to check the water temperature and stay safe. If you have any additions to our list of spring boat preparations feel free to add them to our Facebook or Twitter pages.