TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR BOAT FOR THE NEW SEASONW
With summer right around the corner, many are already thinking about taking their boats out of storage and preparing them for the season. Proper preparation is essential for the safety of everyone on board as well as avoiding problems that could arise when out in the water. Keeping up with the care and maintenance of your boat will extend its life and reduce the need for costly repairs. There are numerous items that should be on every boat owner’s checklist to ensure a safe and fun season.
Inspect fuel and electrical systems
After sitting in storage for a long period of time, it’s important to inspect both the fuel and electrical systems to make sure they’re running properly. The fuel system should be checked for any leaks or damage especially on the fuel hoses, connections and tank surfaces. Additionally the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems should be tested to ensure they’re working after a long winter season. Make sure all fluid levels, such as engine oil, are regulated. All electrical connections should be clean and tight and it’s vital to charge the battery and test it for holding a charge before taking off into the water.
Inspect propellers and hulls
Inspecting propellers for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion is essential. If your propeller is damaged your boat can vibrate and damage your drive train. The propeller must be secured properly before taking off. There shouldn’t be any blisters, distortions or cracks on the hull. In addition, the hull needs to be cleaned using an environmentally safe cleaning solution.
Make sure your boat is equipped with the proper safety gear. Life jackets must be in good condition and there needs to be enough for the amount of passengers on your boat. The life jacket sizes should also be appropriate according to the size and age of the passengers. Any fire extinguishers on board need to be the correct class for you boat as well as fully charged and stowed away in a safe place. Also on board should be an emergency first-aid kit along with battery powered flashlights.
Create a Pre-Departure Checklist
A Pre-Departure Checklist is a great way to make sure that all items are ready to go for the boating adventure. The Pre-Departure Checklist should include but not be limited to lights, food and water supply, extra batteries, life jackets, and proper and updated documentations. This list should be somewhere in the boat to double check that all items are checked-off before each departure.
By checking these items off your list, your boat is sure to be smooth sailing all season long.
Happy and safe boating for 2014