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Spring has sprung and if you’re anything like us, your watersports addiction is in need of some serious attention. We’re almost there. Now is a good time to start thinking about getting your boat ready for a long summer packed full of new tricks landed, personal bests achieved—and most importantly—memories with families and friends. We always recommend having a dealer take care of the de-winterizing process, but here are the broad strokes as well as some DIY points that can ensure your first day of the season is smooth.

 

The Engine

Many of the steps here are the reverse of winterizing. De-winterizing or as some say, summerizing, the engine is all about getting things back to the way they were before you winterized. It sounds deceptively simple. The process involves hooking the boat up to a water source and running the engine to clear it of all the environmentally-friendly antifreeze. From there, any hoses that were disconnected need to be reattached and fluids need to be refilled/topped off.

Malibu supercharged LT4

 

Timing is Key

In areas of the country where it freezes, you need to wait until winter is definitely over. There’s no sense in de-winterizing your boat just to have another hard freeze. Make sure summer is truly on its way. With a long history of servicing boats in your area, your local dealer can advise you on when the best time is to get the process started.

 

Tow Vehicle & Trailer Tune-Up

It’s always a good idea to keep your tow vehicle in tip top shape, and spring is a good time to check things out. Make sure your hitch’s receiver is installed and set to the right size, fill the tires to the proper specs and confirm the electric going to the trailer from the tow vehicle is in working order. If you have a Malibu trailer, it’s likely there’s not much you’re going to need to worry about other than making sure the recommended PSI of air is in the tires. That can be found on the tire’s sidewall. Here again, your dealer can take care of ensuring your trailer is in good working order before you head out on the road.

4 Women launching a Malibu boat

 

Oil Change

If you didn’t knock this out in the fall, now is the time for an oil change. Keeping a fresh filter and oil in your engine is probably the single most important thing you can do to keep your Malibu running strong for years to come.

 

Batteries

If your boat was properly stored with the batteries disconnected, there’s a chance you will still have enough juice to start the boat. That being said, it’s always a good idea to throw a trickle charger on the batteries to make sure you don’t have any issues. When the batteries are topped off, reconnect the positive and negative leads and make sure things are powering up as normal.

Closeup of batteries

 

Fuel

If you have fresh, stabilized fuel in your gas tank you can just top it off at the pump. If your tank is empty, fill it up with new gas for a long day on the water.

 

Drain Plugs

Locate the boat’s drain plugs so you’re ready to go when you get to the ramp. It sounds obvious, but most longtime boaters have been humbled by this at least once.

 

Safety Gear

Life jackets and a fire extinguisher are critical pieces of safety gear. Make sure you have plenty of U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets as well as a fire extinguisher that’s properly pressurized and ready to use.

Man unloading lifejackets from a boat compartment

 

Watersports Gear

Now that you’ve taken care of the nuts and bolts, don’t neglect the main reason you’re going out on the water in the first place. Make sure your watersports gear is ready to go and in good condition. It’s really easy to get out on the lake with everything but a surf rope or a watersports flag. Don’t forget to reinstall your ballast bags if you pulled them out as well.

 

Outsource It

The de-winterizing or summerizing process is complex and your local dealer will have a detailed checklist they will run through to make sure your boat runs hassle free. Intricate details like checking fuses and circuits that control the Power Wedge III are best left to the pros.

Woman wakesurfing behind a Malibu Boat

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