With the cold season drawing to an end and the weather beginning to warm up, it's time to get back out on the water. But before you get started, you have to perform essential maintenance and preparation so you can hit the water with confidence. Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned boater, here are the things you need to do:
Start With a Thorough Inspection
The first thing to do is visually inspect your boat's interior and outside for damages, leaks, wear and tear, and anything unusual. Check the light, propellers, hull, engine, belt, hoses, electrical system, and safety equipment.
Clean Your Boat
As your boat has been in storage during the off-season, it would have likely collected dust and debris. Clean the exterior and interior with soap and water and get rid of mold and mildew growth.
Check Safety Gear
Make sure every safety equipment you're required to carry is on board and in good condition. Do you have life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, and other gear? Also, ensure they are not past their expiration dates.
Test Your Batteries
Are your batteries in good working condition? You want to ensure your boat batteries are working properly and can hold a charge. Replace any that isn't functioning optimally.
Refresh Your Boating Skills
Take physical or online courses to brush up on your driving and navigation skills. You can also watch videos on YouTube or read your boat manuals. This is also a great time to review boating safety rules and regulations.
Check Your Trailer
You shouldn't focus your full attention on your boat - the trailer has to be in good working order as it helps transport your boat to and from the water. So check the frame, tires, hitch, bearing, lights, and other parts.
Schedule a Safety Check
Professionals like the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons can perform a free safety inspection of your boat. You can visit their website to sign up for a vessel safety check.
Check the Fluid Levels
Check the engine color and level, and top up or change when necessary. Other fluids you should check include the coolant, power steering, brake, transmission, and hydraulic fluid. Also, if you had fuel in the tank before storing it for winter, ensure it has not degraded.
If you're unsure about any of the steps involved in prepping your boat, it won't hurt to get professional help. Rather than going it alone and making costly mistakes, a professional will ensure everything is in place, and your boat is ready to hit the waters.
Don't Forget Your Insurance and Other Paperwork
Before hitting the waters, ensure you have the necessary registration, permits, and licenses. You also want to protect yourself and your finances while having a great time, which is why investing in insurance coverage is very crucial. With the right protection, you can have all the fun you want while maintaining your peace of mind. Schedule a consultation to learn more.