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Not all boaters have to lay up for seasonal reasons. Those fortunate to reside near warm climates or travel to them, still need to consider reviewing a partial lay up checklist. Problems can be avoided by doing some of the items noted.

The list will vary depending on the size and type of vessel, but many items are the same. A complete check of your engine(s) and fuel is a good place to begin. Fuel needs to be water free when it reaches the engine, regardless of engine type or whether you use gas or diesel. Remove fuel filters and separators and check for water. A build up of water in separators or filters may indicate fouled fuel tanks.

Tanks can be pumped out through filter systems by professionals to remove water. If a thorough check of the fuel system shows little or no water, standard fuel treatment will likely clean out your system. Replacing the filters and separators is a good idea when checking your system – no matter their condition.

On I/Os or outboards, it’s a good idea to check the lower unit. If clear water or a milky substance drains out, you need new seals. Change them before getting underway.

Check strut bearings and propellers on inboards. If your props are dinged or worn, now is the time to send them in for repairs or replacement. A chipped or bent propeller can cause gear problems on any drive system. Don’t overlook your steering cables. If they are getting a little tight, a lube application may help. Check the oil in the hydraulic system also. When checking below decks look at the fuel lines and make sure they are not rubbing or wearing against other objects.

If your boat is hauled out for any of the above maintenance tasks, it’s a good time to clean and re-coat the bottom. If you are a salt-water sailor, review the condition of all thru-hull fittings. Be sure they can be shut off if needed.

Many items should be checked, even if you don’t boat where the water freezes. Hoses, clamps, belts, hinges and passageways should all be looked at along with many other things that you probably have on a checklist you’ve developed over the years.

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