Spring is Only Weeks Away!

After a couple weeks of ice and snow, we can assume that everyone is ready for spring and warm weather. Here is the real fact, warm weather is on its way, and we are only weeks away!  We had a really cold winter here in Memphis, so we hope that everyone took the right steps while winterizing your boats.  That being said, it is time to start waking up your boat from hibernation. t22 There are a couple steps we would encourage you to follow while you wake up that fun machine.  Like anything else, if you leave it sitting for a period time, you will want to double check some things before using it again. Here is the important stuff to check out before taking your boat out to the lake for the first time.

Trailer: It is easy to neglect the trailer on your boat.  Most of us think most about the boat.

  • Tires:  trailer tires tend to dry rot if unused for long periods of time, so take a look at them before moving your boat. Make sure they are aired up to the right pressure.
  • Bearings: Make sure you lubricate your bearings each year. Some trailers take grease and others take oil, so make sure what type of lubrication your trailer uses before purchasing.
  • Lights:  Be sure all the lights on you trailer work properly, a ticket on the way to the lake is a mood killer!
  • Brakes (if equipped): Is your fluid reservoir full?  Fluid should be flushed and changed every 1-2 years to ensure your brakes continue to work properly for years to come.

Remember, without our trailers we wouldn’t be able to get our boats to the lake so show them a little TLC.

Batteries: The winter cold will drain your batteries.  It’s best to keep them in a garage over the winter but disconnecting them from the boat is a must.  Give those batteries a charge test to be sure they are ready to fire up that motor before you head to the water.  If your battery shows signs of corrosion or is leaking, replace that bad boy.

Inspecting your boat: Now that you have checked the trailer and batteries, go ahead and do a visual and systems check. Walk around your boat and visually inspect it. Make sure everything is where its supposed to be. Check the prop and verify it is in good shape and the underwater gear is not damaged. After the Visual Check, flip on the batteries and do a systems check. Make sure to check the blower, bilge pump, running lights, anchor lights, and all your accessories including the fish finder, radio, and all speakers.

Locate your drain plug: This might seem obvious, but one step better than sinking (not fun) is not going boating because you left your drain plug in the door pocket of your other vehicle (also not fun).  Make sure you know where it is before you leave the house.

Cracked Block = New Engine

Make sure you check your fluids before and after running boat.

Warning: We have had some pretty awful weather lately so you want to check your engine before you take it to the lake.

  1.  Be sure it is summerized.
  2. Check all the fluids in your boat.
  3. Hook up the water and crank it up. let it run until the engine warms up.’
  4. Visually inspect the engine while running and verify all is good (no leaks).
  5. Check all fluids again

Double Warning: It has been really cold, so if you find that your oil looks milky, you might have a bigger issue on your hands. This is a sign of a cracked engine block. Lastly: Clean and wax that baby. no one like a trashed boat,  Hit the water and enjoy! vlx

Some things to consider when buying a pre-owned boat.

Are you thinking about buying a pre-owned boat? Are you worried your going to be lied to and sold a boat that doesn’t work? How do you know if the boat will run properly? How do you know your investment will not go to waste?

These are all questions many people ask themselves when buying a pre-owned boat. Sometimes, the cheapest deal is not the best deal. Here at Memphis Boat Center we go through a rigorous inspection process to be sure we are offering quality at a good value.  That being said, Today is your lucky day!

jeremy

In this weeks blog, we will share with you the things to look for in a used boat to make sure that your investment is worth every penny!

Jerms

We break our inspections into Six different categories; Exterior/Interior, Powertrain, Instrumentation, Compression Test, Trailer, and finally the Lake Test. Lets define each category for you and tell you what to look for. Lets break it down!

EXTERIOR/INTERIOR

  • Hull Gelcoat- check for cracks, scratches, flaws or any damage
  • Deck Gelcoat- check for cracks, scratches, and damage
  • Decals- are the decals in good shape? 
  • Hardware exterior- is the boat missing any bolts, screws, rivets, etc. 
  • Windshield- are there any cracks, missing parts, etc.
  • Platform- is the platform in good shape, will you have to replace it, or re-cover it. 
  • Underwater gear- is the underwater gear in good shape? Is the prop shaft straight?  Prop true? Any sign of impact? 
  • Carpet- Is the carpet clean, missing snaps, mildewed, or nasty?
  • Upholstery- any cuts or holes, cracks, rotten wood, failed stitching, etc
  • Bimini- any cuts or holes, broken pieces, missing parts, cover, etc

POWERTRAIN

  • Engine Model- is the boat properly powered for its size?
  • Belts/Hoses- are they tight? dry-rotted? in good shape?
  • Oil Level- is the oil level good? is it clean? Any leaks? Oil condition can be a good indication of how a boat has been maintained.
  • Alternator- check the volt gauge, is the system charging properly?
  • Starter – does the starter work properly every time?
  • Run at idle. make sure idle is a good constant RPM.  Do you hear any abnormal sounds in the engine?  All cylinders firing?  

INSTRUMENTATION

  • Steering- does the steering work properly and with the proper resistance?
  • Throttle-does the throttle advance smoothly?
  • Fire Ext- required equipment.  Is it present and charged?
  • Fuel Gauge- does the fuel gauge work, mark the proper amount of fuel?
  • Temp Gauge- does the temp gauge work? 
  • Volt Gauge- does the volt gauge display the proper voltage?
  • Blower- does the blower work? 
  • Bilge Pump- does the bilge work? can you hear it running?
  • Nav Lights- do both the navigation and anchor lights work properly?
  • Stereo/Speakers- does the unit power up?  does the remote(s) work? do the speakers work? tower speakers? are the speakers blown?

COMPRESSION TEST

  • A good indicator of the health of an engine is the cylinder compression.  It can indicate a problem that may not yet be noticeable under normal operation.  To perform this test the spark plugs are removed and a pressure gauge is hooked to each cylinder, one at a time.  The engine is turned over and the max pressure is marked.  While checking this, inspect the side of the block for cracks.  Do the same for the manifolds.  

LAKE TEST

  • Cruise Control- does your boat have cruise control? does it stay at a constant speed? Gps Test for accuracy
  • Heater- some boats have heaters, does it work properly without leaks?
  • Shower- some boats have shower hoses. does it work? is it a hot shower?
  • Ballast System- do the tanks fill and empty? no leaks? is the ballast hard or soft?
  • Speedo- does the speedo work properly?
  • Steering Gear- make sure steering is soft. If its really hard to turn, you could need a new cable
  • Oil level – Check the oil once again to be sure it is in the same condition and does not show evidence of water contamination

TRAILER

  • Bearings- is the trailer road ready? greased bearings?  Are they tightened to spec?
  • Lights- do all the lights work on the trailer? Is the light hook up in good shape?
  • Tires- how old are the tires? cracks? tread? 
  • Spare- does the trailer have one?  condition?
  • Winch- is the winch in good shape? Is the strap intact and strong? 

So now that you have finished checking every part of the boat, what did you find? Is that really cheap deal still worth the money, or are you going to have to invest more money into the boat. While not an all inclusive list, each one of these bullet points can require a repair and money out of your pocket. Are the fixes something that Mr. Fix it can do or are you going to have to take it in to get serviced?  Is this boat going to run right out on the water, give you peace of mind, or make awesome memories? Will it break down constantly, will have to keep fixing things on it? Whether from an individual or a dealer if you follow our rigorous checklist and get down and dirty, you will be able to see what is a great deal and what is just not worth your money.  If this sounds exhausting to you you can leave it to the experts.  We specialize in pre-owned boats and would love the opportunity to find the right fit for you and your family.