The sun’s shining, the water is beautiful, and you’re ready to take the boat out and enjoy the great outdoors. After a cold winter and a wet spring, there are a few things you need to do before you set sail.
Check Your Boat
No matter how you stored your boat over the winter, there’s always a chance of potential damage to the hull. Do a visual inspection and make a note of any repairs to be made. Check for tears in canvases or tarps, as well as cracks in the hull and damage to the paint. You’ll want to get these things repaired as soon as possible.
Wax, Wash, and Detail
Once any damage is fixed, you’ll want to clean your boat from top to bottom. This will get the dirt and grime off from the winter season and make your boat shine. Make sure to use proper cleaners made for marine vehicles. Products designed for automobiles can damage your boat’s canvassing or vinyl.
Service Your Boat
Just like you need to get your car serviced, your boat needs a maintenance check, too. Charge your battery before you’re first trip out on the water, especially if your boat sat for a while. Get an oil change and outdrive service. You should also clear the bilge and pump out water that may have seeped in from winter rain or snow. If you took your drain plug out for the winter, now is the time to put it back in.
Once you’re sure your boat is ready for the water, it’s time to do a safety check. Check the navigation lights, the boat’s horn, and all of the safety equipment. Make sure you have enough life jackets and a first aid kit. If you bring little ones on your boat, you need life jackets that will fit them, too. Just like servicing your boat, this is one step you don’t want to neglect. You never know what might happen once you’re on the water.
Registration and Insurance
Like your vehicle, you want to make sure your boat is properly registered. Nothing ruins summer fun like being fined for a lack of registration. Make sure your stickers are current and be mindful of any requirements if you’re traveling out of state with your boat. What will that state require in order for you to legally get on their waterways? You also need to have enough boat insurance to cover any damage to your boat or injuries others sustain. Like any other vehicle, you’ll be liable if your boat causes injury or damage to someone else.
Need to check your boat insurance coverage before you set sail? Just got your first boat and want to protect it and yourself? Contact Charlotte Insurance today for a free quote on boat and any other recreational vehicle or watercraft insurance you might need.