The Top 8 Offseason Boat Projects
Offseason boat projects can be just the cure for the northern winter blues. The phrase “Stupid Winter. I Miss My Boat” that adorns awesome sweatshirts from Salty Crab Co. out of St. George, Utah, pretty much sums it up. So, we decided to reach out to a number of our customers up north to see how they pass the time during the long winter months. We found out that many dive headlong into projects that are tough to find or make time to do when they want to be outdoors enjoying themselves.
Of course, many of these offseason boat projects make the time they have on their boat a lot more enjoyable, reduce the worry of mechanical problems and increase their boat’s longevity.
So, without further delay, the following are the top eight offseason boat projects for northern boaters.
#1 – Repair, Rebuild or Replace
Ok, this is a big catch-all category because we received several different responses to very worthy projects in this category.
Replace Old Hoses and Hose Clamps
Hoses and hose clamps are not the most glamorous parts of boating, and you may not even think much about them until…one fails. A few guys mentioned that they spent a couple of hours thoroughly inspecting their hoses and related clamps. Of course, any hoses that are cracked, kinked, punctured, or frayed should be replaced. Ideas of areas to check to include: fuel supply and return lines, freshwater systems, heads and holding tanks, drains and overboard discharges, raw-water supply lines for generators and engines, washdown pumps, and hydraulic steering system hoses. While checking your hoses, check your hose clamps to ensure they are intact and not rusted. Missing, rusted, or otherwise compromised hose clamps need to be replaced.
Replace Boat Hatch Gaskets
This is somewhat self-explanatory for boaters who have hatches that let in light, air, or access to small, tucked away areas of your boat. Over time, these gaskets become dry, loose, cracked, etc., and leak. They occasionally need to be replaced.
Repair or Replace Broken Navigation Lights
Avoid accidents and U.S. Coast Guard citations by ensuring that your navigation lights are all working. The most common failure is simply a burnt-out bulb. However, sometimes lenses become cracked or clouded from the salt and sun. Or, lenses can sometimes meet an untimely demise collide with a dock or piling. Yet another problem point can be the bulb base (where the wire connects and the light bulb snaps or screws in). The bulb base can become corroded and stop working overtime. If you can effectively replace the failed component, that’s great. Otherwise, you will need to replace the navigation light itself.