If you’re someone who loves to spend time out on the water, waiting for winter to end can feel like an eternity. But it’s important not to immediately pull your boat out at the first signs of spring and dive right back into your favorite pastime. There are multiple areas on your boat that you’ll want to evaluate to make sure that your vessel is water-ready. If you’re a first-time boat owner or you’re interested in purchasing a boat and want to make sure you’re doing everything right ahead of time, here’s how to get your boat ready for the spring.

Make Sure Your Engine Runs

The last thing you want to do is drag your boat all the way to the lake, only to find out that the engine isn’t running or that it needs some additional care like an oil change. Take the time to fully inspect the engine so that it’s water-ready when you’re finally prepared to take off. On another similar note, you may also want to check your battery to see how much juice it has left after a long winter (and charge it if it’s necessary).

Replace the Trim Seals

Various boat parts may fail during the winter due to the extreme cold, especially if they’re made of rubber or plastic-like trim seals, which are susceptible to freezing and cracking. If you’ve noticed that your trim seals aren’t holding up that well and you don’t want water potentially coming into the boat or your boat’s door flapping about while you’re navigating your local lake, replace your trim seals (and add this to your checklist every winter if your trim seals don’t hold up too well where you live).

Inspect and Clean the Interior

Even if you keep your boat covered up during the winter, things can still get in. For example, dust, debris, and even pests tend to make their way inside boats during the winter, all of which become an even bigger problem when wet. Carefully remove your boat cover to avoid spilling anything inside, then thoroughly wipe your boat down so that nothing is still coating your seats or the floor, and rinse out the remainder of the debris that can’t be so easily wiped up. If you don’t like having to do this every spring, consider getting a tighter boat cover that leaves no room for anything to get in.

Check to See If Your Trailer is Ready for the Journey

Your boat isn’t the only thing you should be checking. Your trailer is a crucial part of your boat’s journey to the water, and it needs some attention as well. Check to see that everything looks good, that it has plenty of air in its tires, and that nothing looks so rusted that it’s going to break off while you’re towing your boat. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Winterizing your boat is an extensive process, and you need to be equally thorough when you pull your boat out during spring. Get started on your spring boat care with the advice above so you can get back out on the water faster!