60 Point Boat Checklist

60 Point Boat Checklist

How long has it been since you really checked over your bass boat? Here's a handy 60-point check list to help you get started.

Boat Checklist

There's nothing a bass fisherman uses during the course of a fishing season that takes more of a beating than the bass boat. The pounding begins the moment you pull out of the boat and trailer out of the driveway and doesn't stop until the boat and trailer are parked.
   The boat and all of its component parts are being jostled and jarred by every pothole and bump on the road. Then when the outboard is fired up the pounding continues with every ripple and wave the hull encounters during a typical day on the water. Even the small, insignificant vibrations of the prop slicing through smooth water cause screws and fittings to loosen over time.
   Time and the elements also take a toll. Even a boat stored in a garage or shed will face the effects of corrosion because a certain amount of moisture is always part of the bass boat's natural environment.
   All this leads us to preventive maintenance.
   In order for a bass boat that is subjected to such rough use to function properly, a certain level of preventive maintenance is required once a year.
   A great time to give your boat a thorough bow-eye to prop nut inspection is during mid-summer when a lot of bass clubs put tournaments on hold for a couple weeks so families can enjoy vacations together.
    One way to make such an inspection is to invite your favorite draw partner over for lunch and a couple beers while lending a hand getting your boat ready for the second half of the season. (Or, you could always convince the wife and kids this is a prerequisite to taking the family for a week touring Jellystone Park or Dollyland.)

Boat Checklist

Once you have a helper or two around, use the checklist below as a basic guide to giving your beloved bass boat that once-a-year checkup.
   You'll probably need a few basic hand tools close by-and a lot of zip-ties, cleaners, garbage bags and clean rags handy.
   The basic procedure from bow-to-stern is to make sure everything you check is tight, clean, and in proper working condition. Items that are suspect should be repaired or replaced.
   Such an inspection will take several hours-maybe even a half day. But when you're done with the inspection, you can rest assured your bass boat will be as ready as ever the next time it's splashed.
-Bruce W. Smith


  • Bow-eye; inspect for looseness, cracks
  • Navigation light; clean connections on pole and socket, wires secure, test
  • Trolling motor; prop good and shaft clear of fishing line
  • Trolling motor foot control; wiring clean, tight
  • Bow electronics; mounts, wiring, connections
  • Bow controls/switches; tight connections; function
  • Bow power panel; circuit breakers/fuses good
  • Front livewell; hose connections/fittings/sprayers
  • Remove unused tools, gear from all lockers, organize
  • Forward storage lockers; inspect seals, locks, hinges
  • Front seat; brackets and bolts secure; replace bad/missing snaps
  • Metal seats; check and tighten all mounting screws/bolts
  • Bow pedestal seat; check mounting screws/bolts, lube pedestal adjusters
  • Rod lockers; repair loose carpet, broken organizers, drooping wiring looms
  • Console(s); make sure it's secure
  • Wiring under the console; fix loose, hanging wires
  • Helm; steering wheel, steering cables/hoses tight lubed
  • Steering wheel trim controls; secure, tight connections
  • Hydraulic steering; reservoir filled, system bled
  • Instrument panel; inspect and tighten/clean all wiring/connections
  • Gauges; check function of all, replace those defective
  • Console switches; inspect, repair or replace as needed
  • Shift/throttle control; secure, cables adjusted properly, lubricated
  • Fuel tank switch; inspect and test
  • Foot throttle; base secure, moving parts lubricated, cable adjusted
  • Windscreen(s); secure, clean; replace if broken
  • Glovebox; secure, clean, hinges & lock work properly
  • Cockpit seats; check snaps, mounts, straps, hinges
  • Under-seat compartments; clean out, check seals and hinges
  • Livewell controls; check operation, adjust linkages
  • Cockpit carpet; secure loose edges, clean
  • Aft storage compartments; check and repair hinges, seals, locks
  • Battery compartment; clean, secure loose, hanging wiring
  • Battery trays; remove batteries, tighten tray mounting bolts, clean
  • Batteries; check cables for fraying, clean terminals, tighten connections
  • Hydraulic jackplate pump; tight hoses, fittings and wiring
  • Bilge pumps; hose connections ; mounts; wiring
  • Livewell pump(s); hoses not kinked, clamps and fittings tight
  • Fuel filler; check and tighten mounting screws; tighten filler hose clamp
  • Fuel tanks; tighten filler and fuel line connections
  • Fuel tank sender; tighten mounting screws and clean/reconnect wires
  • Engine mounting bolts; tight
  • Engine steering; bolts tight, fittings greased
  • Manual jackplate; engine and transom attachment bolts tight
  • Hydraulic jackplate; mounting bolts and fitting tight; slide lubricated
  • Prop shaft; remove prop, clean fishing line from base, check seal, lube
  • Prop; inspect for cracks, dings, re-install, tighten
  • Engine fuel filter; replace; connections tight
  • Engine water filter (4-strokes); drain and/or replace cartridge
  • Engine; lube throttle/shift mechanisms; grease fittings
  • Engine; clean out speedometer pitot hole on front of skeg
  • Stern light; clean pole and socket connections; check wiring connections, test
  • Rub rail; remove to inspect for loose/missing screws, replace
  • Transom; check transducer and speedo paddle wheel if so rigged
  • Fiberglass hull; clean, inspect for cracks, repair minor gelcoat dings
  • Aluminum hull; clean, inspect/repair loose/missing rivets or broken welds
  • Hull; replace registration numbers if they are faded or missing
  • First Air kit; refill or replace with new one, place under driver seat
  • Fire Extinguisher; fully charged, still within date
  • Safety flares; put two new packs along side the First Aid kit
  • Dock lines; replace old frayed ones with new, store in side locker
  • Anchor; place in compartment along with 100-feet of new anchor rope

Reprinted with permission from



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