Subscribe to our newsletter


Spring Commissioning Checklist

Spring Commissioning Checklist 2002
Maintenance April 2002 — By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Spring Commissioning Checklist
Cut away the shrink wrap, and pull off those tarps. It’s that time of year again.
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: The Basics
• Part 2: The Basics
• Stern Drives
• Outboards, Gas Inboards, Diesels

 Related Resources
• Maintenance Index

For those of us who live in northerly climes, the perceptible change in temperature these days, from cold to moderate, often results in our engaging in what some would deem rather odd behavior. With glazed eyes and lock-step gait and foregoing sustenance, shelter, and the company of family, we make our way down to the boatyard to perform an annual rite: spring commissioning.

To assist you in this hallowed seafaring tradition, we’ve prepared the following checklist to make it easier for you to prepare for another season. For those whose lat/lon coordinates mean warm weather year-round, the list will hopefully provide a reminder that spring is a good time to do your annual maintenance.

The Basics
• If you didn’t do it before going up on the hard, drain and flush the engine coolant. Replace engine coolant, including additives, with that recommended by the engine manufacturer. Keep enough coolant onboard for one complete change (not for outboards).
• Drain and flush the antifreeze material you used for your head and galley water system until the water runs clear.
• Check the amount of material left on your engine zincs, and replace any that are half-gone. Keep spares onboard.
• Make sure all through-hull fittings are in working order and free of corrosion. Work them back and forth until they move smoothly. Clean and grease if necessary, and leave in the open position.
• Inspect all hoses and hose clamps, and replace if any signs of wear–splitting, soft spots, corrosion–are present. Keep spares onboard.
• Inspect engine drive belts. There should be no more than 1š2-inch play between pulleys. If there is, the belt is stretched and should be replaced. Also make sure there are no splits, gouges, tears, or glazing. Keep spares onboard.

Next page > The Basics continued > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

Related Features