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boat-maintenance-checklistBoating is a fun way to get out and enjoy the water with your loved ones. Yet to keep the good times coming, your boat needs to remain in top shape. The key is regular boat maintenance. Regular maintenance helps prevent more serious and expensive issues, but that’s not all. Maintenance also aids in the safety of everyone on board by ensuring you’re properly prepared for your trip.

Below we’ve put together a boat maintenance checklist to help you keep your boat running (and looking) good all season long. This checklist focuses on things you should before every trip. In our next post, we’ll cover periodic and seasonal maintenance tasks.

Engine and Steering

  • Check oil
  • Check for fuel or oil leaks
  • Check propeller/skeg for damage
  • Check steering for exaggerated movement
  • Check transom mounting bolts or jack plate bolts
  • Inspect lines for wear and possible damage
  • End of Trip: Flush the engine

Boat Exterior

  • Check auto switch
  • Check batteries
  • Check bilge pump
  • Check all other electrical accessories
  • Check hull and repair if needed
  • Check transom
  • Wash deck
  • Wash hull


  • Check for bends and dents
  • Check propeller hub for debris (e.g. fishing lines)
  • Ensure propeller is greased
  • Ensure water intake is clean


  • Check emergency retention chains and straps
  • Check lights, light connectors and wiring harness and repair if needed
  • Check tiedowns and tiedown eyes
  • Check tires and inflate if necessary
  • Check winch and winch strap
  • Ensure coupler mechanism is working properly
  • Ensure you have a spare trailer tire
  • Inspect chains for rust


  • Check fire extinguisher
  • Ensure you have registration and documents
  • Ensure no documentation is expired
  • Ensure safety gear is in good condition
  • Have a dry storage container for items prone to water damage or mildew
  • End of Trip: Dry out all wet materials (e.g. lifejackets, towels, clothing) before storing



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