Spring weather is here, which means it’s time to get your boat out of storage and into the water, and fast! Before you take your boat out on its first voyage, be sure to inspect, tune-up, and clean your boat so it’s ready for long days out on the water all season long.
If you are a first time boat owner, check to see if you are required to take a boating education course and to carry a license or certificate of completion. Take some time to read through the owner’s manual in order to familiarize yourself with the boat’s guidelines.
Most boaters have an annual spring ritual to get ready for the boating season. In case you are unsure of what preparations to make, here are eight tips to help ensure you boat is ready:
- Carefully inspect the safety equipment on-board, including fire extinguishers, flares, personal flotation devices (PFDs), and first-aid kits. Repair, recharge, and restock the equipment if necessary.
- Check the fuel system for leaks and ensure that the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems are working properly. Pay close attention to fuel hoses, connections and tank surfaces.
- Check all of the lights on your boat to make sure they are in place and working properly.
- Check for any electrical issues such as loose, disconnected or corroded conductors. Keep in mind, the electrical system should be inspected on a regular basis by a qualified technician.
- Charge the battery and test it to ensure it can hold a charge. Also, check that the battery is properly secured to the vessel.
- Open the engine compartment to check for any excess water in the bilge and check the fuel filters to make sure no water is present.
- Check all fluid levels including, engine oil, power steering, power trim reservoirs and coolant. Be sure to change and check the oil level before starting the boat for the first time. Fill your tank with the highest-quality fuel available.
- If you are going to be towing the boat to its launch point, you should properly inspect and maintain your trailer before your first outing.
The most important thing to do before your boat hits the water is to review your boat insurance with an independent agent. For more information on boating safety tips or to review your coverage, contact McGrath Insurance Group at 508-347-6850 or visit www.mcgrathinsurance.com.
*This article is written for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice.