So, winter is almost over and you’re planning a family boating trip this Spring? Well make sure you and your boat are prepared this coming season. You should always get started by checking any bilge pump or high-water switches, flares, life jackets or other safety gear, hatches, portlights, running lights, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and all other important safety features. Next, make sure your boat is clean and ready to be seen before you take off on any trips. Cleaning your hull, windows, hatches, drains, and wipers are a great way to start off, however adding a nice polish is a great way to add a nice touch to your boat or yacht.
Checking your boats electrical systems is always a safe next step, checking for any corrosion, battery charge, low water levels, wiring, gauges, battery functionality, and lastly making sure you have spare fuses to incase a fuse burns out. Before firing up your engine always check your oil and fluids. As well as your cooling system, seacocks, and gearcase fluid and be sure to inspect your boats raw water strainer for marine growth. If you have an inboard freshwater cooled engine, when was the last time you replaced your pencil zincs?
Checking your fuel system is also an important step that should not be forgotten before taking off. Always check for leaks or damage and pay special attention to connections and fuel hoses. Signs of a damaged fuel hose are often softness, brittleness or cracking. Always check before you pump! When possible, always fill your gasoline powered boat with ethanol free fuel. Propellers and hulls conditions should also be taken note of, checking for dings, pitting, cracks or distortion. Damaged propellers can cause some noticeable vibration and damage to your drive train. You’ll want to make sure your propeller is secured properly. When inspecting your hull, you’ll want to look out for a few key issues being, blisters, distortions and cracks.
Lastly, always make sure your drain plug is in place and that you test your motor before launch. Our job is to always make sure you’re prepared to take off on your boats safely. Having issues out on the water is never a fun situation, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. Things can always go wrong when you least expect it, so always be sure to store spare oil, coolant, spark plugs and light bulbs somewhere aboard. Also make sure you’re stocked on necessary safety equipment, like life vests, a loud horn for signaling emergencies, fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, and a good flashlight, please don’t rely on a smartphone flashlight. Lastly remember, when traveling alone, always make sure someone is aware of where you are.