Slowly but surely, signs of spring bloom all around us. Soon, balmy temperatures and bursts of color will remind us of our favorite time of the year—de-winterizing time, that is!
As you prepare to bring your Chaparral back to the water, take a look at our top ten tips for de-winterizing and getting your ride ready for the season of fun ahead. Just read on!
Know when to start
The first step in de-winterizing your Chaparral, is knowing when to do it! Just as is the case with winterizing your boat, many boaters have different answers as to what’s the perfect time to start. However, a common thread among them all? Wait, at least, until temperatures are consistently above freezing. Because much of the winterization process involves protecting your boat against the effects of freezing temps, you’ll want to ensure that your hard work last season does not go to waste!
Uncover your boat
Once you’re ready to prepare your boat for spring, uncover it and give it a thorough check. See if any debris or critters have made their way inside (though a good cover or shrink-wrapping will prevent that!), and take note of anything you notice that should be cleaned up, replaced or fixed before hitting the water.
Check your engine and fuel
Before taking your boat out for the first time, check the engine and equipment. Change the oil and add a new filter, and also use this time to see that on-board electronics, like your lights, are in good condition.
Before the winter, you probably filled your tank with fuel and stabilizer—if not, you’ll need to fill up with fresh fuel after ensuring there’s no water built-up inside. In any case, checking your tank to ensure that there are no leaks or other issues is always a smart step!
Just add water
Because we want to avoid water getting into our boat and, potentially, freezing over the winter, we typically drain onboard systems and treat them with antifreeze. Now that you’re ready to return to the water, it’s time to fill up your water tank and run water through your engine, head system, pumps and other fixtures that were treated with antifreeze a few months ago.
Re-stock safety essentials
You may have removed items from your boat when you stored it for the winter. If so, be sure to check that you’ve replaced everything you will need before hitting the water for the first time—these must-haves include personal floatation devices, first-aid kits, working fire extinguishers and anything else you need for time on the water.
Spruce up your space
In addition to safety equipment, bring back the “fun” stuff, too! From your must-have on-board snacks, to cozy pillows and beach blankets that hit the spot after a long day on the water, these little touches are sure to make your return to the water that much smoother.
Remember the trailer
Towing your boat? Treat the trailer, too, and ensure that it is in good working condition (which means well-inflated tires, lubricated parts and bearings, and working lights, to name a few important spots).
Add some extra shine
Who doesn’t want to sport the best-looking boat on the water this spring? To make your first outing a flashy one, give your Chaparral a good rinse and clean, and perhaps a fresh coat of wax, to really bring out its shine and enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Consider a safety check
Once you’ve checked your boat for all the safety and mechanical must-haves, consider a free vessel safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary! It’s a handy service that helps you get a closer look at boat maintenance and safety, and is a smart step at any time of the year.
Have some fun
Unlike winterizing your boat (which involves saying “goodbye” to the water for a few months), de-winterizing can be a fun process. Because of course, at the end of it, you have endless on-the-water adventures to enjoy as your reward! To make this process even more fun, you can get the whole family involved with steps such as cleaning, checking off important must-dos, and more—enjoy a delicious backyard barbecue or some sweet ice cream to reward your hard work. You can also pick a date to count down to that signals your first trip of the spring!
We hope that these tips help you enjoy your spring adventures to the fullest! In no time at all, you’ll be cruising, splashing and savoring the easygoing breeze of the water from the comfort of your Chaparral—and that’s something we can all look forward to.