Spring Boating Checklist part 1

Spring Boating Checklist part 1

We don't know about you, but at Great Lakes Skipper we are DONE with old man winter. We've had enough and we think you have as well. The boat shows this season have us dreaming of ripping off that cover, firing up the engines and going full throttle in a very big way. What are we supposed to do when the boat is miles from the lake, tightly covered up and collecting dust in the garage? Some tasks are best done in the open air such as anything that produces fumes that require strong ventilation. But we think we have a couple of simple projects that can be done while the boat is still in the garage or storage warehouse. 

Supra Boat Spring Start Up Checklist

Check seals around windows, hatches and portlights

Even a tiny crack in a window seal can let water in. Black metal window frames soak up heat from the sun, making them prone to warping. Also, hatch seals aren't designed to last forever.

Take some time this winter to check your window and hatch seals. If you have a previously owned boat, it might take some detective work to track down the correct gaskets.

Contacting the window or hatch manufacturer to get the part numbers is a good place to start.

Consider replacing your boat windows, boat hatches and boat portlights. Click any of the images below to find the right replacement.

Boat Windows     Boat Hatches     Boat Portlights


Consider upgrading those old, scratched up gauges

How are your gauges looking? Cracked, scratched, or cloudy lenses are annoying, and malfunctioning gauges can lead you into trouble, fast. New gauges revive a boat's appearance as well as its performance.

Browse boat parts shops, boat shows, and our website for ideas.

Most gauges are simple to install. Check YouTube for installation videos if you don't have a manual.

Brett Becker at Boat Trader suggests snapping a picture of the dash before you start removing the old gauges to help keep track of which gauge goes where.

Great Lakes Skipper carries all sorts of OEM boat gauges, boat gauge sets and even entire dash panels. Click any of the images below for immediate access.


OEM and aftermarket boat gauges     How to replace and repair boat gauges     How to repair boat dashboard


Wheel to stiff to turn?

Take a look at your steering linkage and cable(s). Give the wheel a turn or two. Does everything feel smooth, or does the steering feel stiff?

Salt water wears out boat parts much faster than fresh water, so make sure to clean and lubricate your steering linkage at least twice a year if you're a blue-water boater.

Inland boaters can get by with a once-a-year cleaning.

If the steering cable is worn, winter is a good time to replace it. Measure carefully before buying a new cable.

We're working on a blog to tell you how to pick out the best steering system for your boat. Sign up for our email alerts so you'll know when that blog comes out.

Here's a couple of great categories to find new steering accessories, steering cables and hydraulic steering systems. Click any of the images to see great boat parts for sale.


How to install hydraulic boat steering     How to install boat steering wheel     How to replace boat steering cable


We care about your Safety!

Now that your boat is ready to return to the water, consider getting a FREE Vessel Safety Check from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Coast Guard Auxilliary. That's right, we said FREE, pro bono, complementary!

Great Lakes Skipper wants you to be safe on the water. Just copy and paste this link in your browser and you can register for a FREE Vessel safety check.



If you enjoyed our blog post or any of the information within, please consider sharing this post with your boating friends. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our post.