It's June, so summer should be underway—but it was also a doozy of a winter, and quite a few boats around Narragansett Bay still have their covers on. For those of you who haven't started spring boat chores yet, here's a quick summary of the ones you shouldn't skip.

For more details about what to do if you find something that doesn't look right, read Doug Logan's complete article on Boat Trader: Get Your Boat Ready for Summer: Checklist.

Arrowcat 30 powercat

Ready to get out on the water? Here's a checklist to make sure you don't miss any spring prep.

Hull, Topsides, and Deck

  • Remove your cover and recycle it responsibly (or store it for next winter).

  • Do wax your topsides. Don’t wax non-skid deck areas!

  • Apply antifouling paint.

  • Replace hull zincs.

  • Remember to install your drain plug.


Look over all of the following and take the time to fix any problems you find:

  • Seacocks and hoseclamps

  • Wiring, hydraulics, and cables

  • Strainers, impellers, and heat exchangers

  • Fluids

  • Belts

  • Spark plugs (wait to replace until after you've burned off any fogger residue)

  • Engine zincs

  • Outdrive bellows


  • Test lights and brakes

  • Grease wheel bearings, lubricate hitch mechanism, overhaul winch cable or strap and check for wear/weakness.

  • Check and inflate your tires, including spare.


  • Check over both standing and running rigging

  • Clean and lube winches, line stoppers, and other deck hardware



  • Registration up to date?

  • Boating license on board?

  • Sunscreen, bug repellent, toilet paper?

If your boat was shrink-wrapped for the winter, don't toss that wrap in the dumpster -- recycle it.

If your boat still looks like this, it's time to get busy.

Wow, that's quite a list. I'm vowing (again) to start earlier next spring...

And if you do find something that doesn't look right, read Get Your Boat Ready for Summer: Checklist on Boat Trader to figure out how to fix it.

See you on the water!

Written by: Carol Cronin
Carol Cronin has published several novels about the Olympics, sailing, hurricanes, time travel, and old schooners. She spends as much time on the water as possible, in a variety of boats, though most have sails.