Post by Beth Leonard on the Boat US Seaworthy blog.
Fight the winter blues by paying your boat a visit and making sure all is well. Whether it’s stored on the hard or in the water, you may just forestall some spring problems.
The Walk-Around, If Your Boat’s In The Water
Take a close look at the waterline. Is there a change? If the boat looks lower on its lines than the last time you saw it, or if it’s down at the bow or the stern, check for water in the bilges when you get aboard.
Check docklines along their entire length for security and any signs of chafe. Adjust the chafe guards if necessary (heavy hose, fire hose, or commercially made chafe guards will keep your lines from shredding during bad weather). Smaller boats can get caught under a dock at low tide and then be overwhelmed by the rising tide and sunk. Make sure docklines are tight enough to keep the boat off the dock, but loose enough to allow for variations in water level.