It will not be too long before we start seeing sunny days and warmer weather. When those conditions appear, lots of boaters will be on the water, with many making their first trip of the year. Many will experience problems caused by the boat setting up so long.

Every year, problems occur with engines and other equipment that have been dormant for weeks. This year, the problem is likely to be more severe, as the long periods of cold and windy weather have kept boaters off of the water for a longer time.

All of this will take its toll on batteries and water pumps, both in the engines and on other equipment such as bait wells. Gasoline that has been stored too long, especially when not treated with stabilizers during that period, can be a big problem.

There are several other potential problems that could occur. With all of this facing boaters, there are a few recommendations that could help you avoid problems before you get to the water for the first time.

Fuel is probably the biggest problem. If your fuel has been in the tank for more than six weeks, add fresh fuel and stabilizers, even if you treated the fuel at the end of the season.

Before heading to the launching ramp, try cranking your engine. If it fails to turn over, then the battery likely needs charging or replacing.

Using a flushing device connected to a garden hose, crank the engine. Allow it to run for several minutes and, if everything sounds normal, then head out.

Check the water lines going to your bait wells and wash downs. Often while setting up, the lines will become dry and brittle and easily cracked.

None of the above beats a check-up by your mechanic before boating season gets underway.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to or call 409-683-5273.

(1) comment

mark mcdavid

BOAT...Bring Out Another Thousand. Why I kayak and surf fish,

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