Hot Boat Summer Starts with Safety
Summer boating season 2022 is finally here. Boating is fun and relaxing. Let’s keep it that way.
It just takes some of your time to keep boating fun all summer long. Check of Boat, Systems Engine, and Safety Gear. Before you get on the water is the best time to make sure everything works and is up to date. Below is an overview to help you get started.
Check All Your Boat Systems
- Everyone has seen the video of a boater throwing out the anchor only to have sink straight away because no get to make sure it was attached to the boat. Checking your systems keeps you from being “that guy” in a funny home video. Plus it can be down right dangerous.
- Do all the safety lights work? Nav lights, docking lights, deck lights, spotlights…
- Check the steering and throttle. Is it responsive?
- Check the plumbing systems: bilge pumps, macerators, live well pump, freshwater system, toilet system, etc…
- Do all the electronic systems work? VHF, GPS unit, transducer, radar, stereo, and speakers, etc…
- Are your batteries good, charging, and free of corrosion?
- Is the anchor, rode, and chain tangle free and is in good condition?
Check Your Engine
We have all witnessed a boat owner already in the water at the public ramp and he or she cannot start their boat. An annual service on the engine keeps all your working parts clean, lubricated, and hopefully corrosion-free.
- Perform an annual service. Change your oil, filters, spark plugs, fuel water separator, etc…
- Are hose free of kinks and signs of deterioration?
- Grease and lube drive shaft, trim rams, prop, and more. This keeps all moving points free of corrosion, and debris, and allows the systems to run smoothly. Pun intended.
- Check your prop. Is it free of dings? Has the fishing line gotten wrapped around it?
Check Your Safety Gear
Safety gear is a United States Coast Guard federal law. You do not want to find out that your safety equipment is missing or not in excellent working condition during an emergency.
- Are the PFDs and Throw Cushion in great condition: not frayed straps or connections, no rips, etc…
- Ensure flares, fire extinguishers, and safety horns are up to date, in working order, and not expired.
- It is time for new dock lines and fenders?
You certainly do not want to be on the road with your precious cargo (boat and family) when the trailer has an issue. Always check your lights and brakes. Physically inspect your axles and tires for wear and tear. Ensure all that the trailer chains, plug, and safety pin are in good working condition. Ensure your boat is correctly balanced on the trailer with the correct tongue weight. Boat trailers are rated for weight and length but are not customized to each individual boat manufacturer and model specifications. You want to make sure you are properly and safely towing your boat.
It may take time to do a full inspection of everything. There are people that like to do it themselves. They enjoy the time and learning it takes to get their boat and gear ready for the summer. Some people take their boat to their local certified marine mechanic. This has a higher cost attached to it but ensures the annual service and a full inspection has been done correctly. A certified marine mechanic has the knowledge and tools to fully inspect boating systems and suggest any preventive maintenance. Others join Carefree Boat Club…
Carefree Boat Club’s staff inspects, services, cleans and maintains their entire fleet’s boat systems and engines. The club boats already are USCG certified and carry all the equipment on the boat. Carefree Boat Club members enjoy being out on the water.
Attached is an example from Carefree Boat Club’s Inspection Checklist.