Pre Boat Launch Checklist
The long winter is over and spring is here, it’s about time to launch your Godfrey Pontoon boat back in the water. But are you ready? With many months of inactivity a lot of essential items may have been misplaced or out-of-date from last spring! Follow our handy pre-launch check list to be sure you properly have everything squared away for your first launch of your Godfrey Pontoon!
OUT OF THE WATER:
- Up to date boat registration (along with hull identification decals)
- Up to date fishing licenses for you and your fellow fisherman
- Ramp parking permit
- Secure your Marina Wet Slip
ESSENTIAL ITEMS IN THE PONTOON:
- Life jackets for you and your crew (Remember that if you have kids they probably grew over the last few months so be sure they didn’t outgrow last summer’s life jacket)
- Fire extinguisher (check expiration date)
EXAMINE YOUR PONTOON:
After a long winter of sitting your first cold start should be fairly easy if you gave your pontoon a proper winterization. You or your dealer probably removed the battery during the off season, makes sure it’s charged, connected and working properly. Lastly, check your fluid levels, make sure your belts are in good condition and tight.
START IT UP
Next, cover your cold-water intakes with “muffs” or “flushers” and connect to your garden hose (outboard or sterndrive…don’t skip this step or you’ll ruin your impeller!). Also, remember to lower your outdrive to the lowest position possible before turning the key. If it’s tilted up (like you would normally have it on your trailer), you risk engine damage because the oil can’t circulate properly. After starting, let the motor warm up for several minutes while you check for leaks, and give the entire boat a careful walk-around, looking for anything usual. Turn the engine off and wait several minutes before repeating the previous steps.
GET READY TO ROLL:
- Check pontoon trailer tires air pressure
- Check for Flat Spots on tires
- Check for bow and stern straps
- Unscrew drain plugs to be sure it’s properly sealed
- Check trailer brake lights and be sure they feel (& sound) secure
PRE LAUNCH PREP:
After arriving at the launch ramp parking area, pull off to the side and disconnect your brake lights (hot light bulbs and plastic do not play well with cold water). Remove and store your boat cover and stern straps. Recheck your drain plug and turn your blower on.
DOWN THE RAMP:
Back your trailer down the ramp until your outdrive contacts water. Lower your drive and fire up your engine. Unhook your bow strap and safety cable, then back the boat off the trailer and tie up at the courtesy dock for passenger loading, or to pull up and park your tow vehicle if you’re by yourself.
Whether you’re a veteran pontoon boater or this will be your first exciting season, following these steps (every time you launch your boat) will help ensure you get the most out of your time on the water.