Boat Maintenance Checklist for an Enjoyable Boating Season

Warmer temperatures usher in boating season along the Gulf Coast. Nothing compares to an enjoyable day on the water with family and friends. Just as you get your boat winter ready for the largely dormant months, making summer preparations is equally important. Performing routine maintenance ahead of a period of peak usage is key to preventing your fun from being sidelined by mechanical issues. A boat maintenance checklist can keep your boat running smoothly throughout the summer. Small pre-season measures help ensure your only summer worries are tan lines.

Download our Boat Maintenance Checklist.

Where to Start?

Acknowledging the importance of a boat maintenance checklist is just the beginning. Are you aware of what items need to be checked? Do you know when or how often inspections should occur? Is the checklist limited to mechanical components or should cosmetics be addressed as well? If you are overwhelmed or simply don’t have time to tackle a pre-season checklist, help is available. Pensacola Shipyard has on-site independent contractors who can assist you with creating a maintenance schedule and checklist or handle the tasks entirely.

Having a Boat Maintenance Checklist can Help Ensure an Enjoyable Boating Season

Breaking It Down

Maintaining your boat is not all about replacing parts and tune-ups. Visual inspections of the vessel’s condition is important. Seeing your boat in its entirety is necessary to check for any damage or corrosion to hull. Additionally, attention should be given to on-board safety gear. Electrical systems are another component to be included.  Here is a breakdown of areas and items to be addressed on your boat’s maintenance checklist.

Bottom Side (Hull/Propeller)

  • Inspect hull for any visible damage including cracks, blistering or dings
  • Thoroughly clean hull (wash/wax)
  • Touch up paint to any areas where needed
  • Check propeller for cracks, dings or other damage
  • Make sure propeller is secured tightly

Safety Gear

  • Check that you have the correct amount of fire extinguishers, charged and in working order.
  • Make sure life vests are accessible, in good condition and correct sizes are available for passengers.
  • If the vessel has an interior, check the carbon monoxide detector.

Electrical Systems

  • Systems should be inspected regularly by a professional.
  • Charge and test battery to ensure its ability to hold a charge.
  • Check all connections to ensure that they are clean, tight and corrosion free.
  • Clean any corrosion with a wire brush.

Fluid Levels

  • Check the engine oil and change it along with the oil filter and drive lubricants if not already done during winter preparation.
  • Check coolant level.
  • Check power steering fluid level.
  • Check power trim reservoir level.

Fuel System

  • Check that clamps and fittings are secure.
  • Inspect fuel lines for damaged/cracked hoses.
  • Check connections and tank surfaces.
  • Inspect engine, exhaust and ventilation systems to ensure that they are in good working order.


Additional items include inspection of all belts, hoses and cables to make sure that they are not cracked, worn or loose. Decking and transoms should be carefully looked over. If your boat is trailered, it should be checked to ensure the lights are working properly, straps are in good shape and the tires are correctly inflated.

Hire a Professional Today

A thorough boat maintenance checklist will help keep your boat and its occupants safe. Some items need only to be performed annually and others much more frequently. Always consult the owner’s manual for information specific to your vessel. You may choose to do some light maintenance and cleaning yourself and leave the more complicated mechanical aspects to a qualified technician.

The industry expert contractors at Pensacola Shipyard can assist you with some or all of your maintenance needs. Completing a regular preventative checklist can provide you a stress-free enjoyable boating season.