Meteorologists agree with the groundhog, at least this time! Groundhogs and weather stations all over the U.S. have been predicting an early spring for weeks now. With this great news, it is time to think about spring cleaning and de-winterizing your boat.
This is the perfect time to take your boat out of storage, because if you find problems, you have time to repair before the spring and summer events take place.
Sometimes, people notice steering problems when taking the boats out of storage. This all depends on the quality of the boat and the method of storage, but steering problems are quite common.
Starting at one end of the steering wheel, inspect the entire system to determine the problem. When you isolate the problem, it is easier to determine the cause. Usually, the problem calls for small maintenance instead of a huge repair. So, you might have to lubricate the steering wheel, or maybe adjust the settings. However, if you have a complex situation- like a broken pulley or a screwy hydraulic system- that is what you want to fix immediately.
Inspecting your steering wheel visually is not enough though, you should take it for a test. As soon as you can get the boat into water, have yourself and another qualified driver test the wheel for any resistance or grinding. You don't want to be in the middle of a fishing trip when you realize you need a repair, so check the steering routinely.