Do It Now
When winter finally loses its grip on the water, you'll be ready to go
By Dusty Miller
When the snow flies, time stands still for boaters. Except for a brief flurry around the boat show, the wait for next year’s boating season seems endless. But you can hurry things along… starting right now.
Take a few minutes and think about your boat last season. Did it start well? Did it stall when you changed gears? Was the steering responsive or sluggish? What about the hardware… were the stanchions firm or loose? In your mind’s eye, check out your boat from stem to stern – covering everything from the mechanical to the cosmetic to the structural – and write a list of things you have to fix, should check out, and would like to maybe fix or change some day.
There may even be some things you have been putting up with because they’ve been like that for so long. One of my students was having a terrible time at low speed handling. He couldn’t get his boat to do what he wanted and when I stepped up to the helm I couldn’t either. Turns out he had no neutral. His boat only had forward and reverse – and it had always been that way, obviously making fine handling next to impossible. Another thing I have seen fairly often is steering so stiff it takes two hands and a lot of strength to turn the wheel. Minor adjustments as the boat comes into the slip were impossible.