Even with social distancing and the changes to everyday life, you can still hit the water on your boat this summer. But not before you make sure it’s ship-shape and ready to sail. Doing so keeps you and your family safer and ensures that you have fun with less worry and stress.
Here’s what you need to do to get your boat ready for the summer.
Protect Your Boat
If your boat has been in storage — at home or in the marina — it’s time to see what winter has done to it. It’s time to look underneath the tarp or covering. Good tarps can be dried and stored for future use. Shrink wrap and cheap tarps can be recycled.
It’s time to clean and wax topside so your boat is protected and looks good. Use marine paste-wax instead of cheaper, lower quality options. It shines and protects better than anything else you might use. Do not wax non-skid surfaces unless you want to turn your boat into a skating rink.
Make sure you insert the drain plug before you launch. That’s not a lesson you want to learn the hard way.
Check the Mechanics
There’s a lot going on “under the hood” so to speak, and you need to check every element to make sure it’s in good condition before you get on the water.
- Check outboard cowlings for rot or condensation.
- Check hose clamps and fittings.
- Take a look at the wiring.
- Check the throttle and shift cables.
- Make sure the strainers are clean and clear.
- Check the belts, fluid levels, spark plugs, and engine zincs.
If you worry you’ll miss something, have your boat professionally serviced instead.
Remember, Safety First
It does you no good to have a boat in tip-top shape if it’s not safe for you and your family. Make sure the flares and fire extinguishers are up-to-date. When in doubt, replace them. Test the bilge blowers and bilge pumps. Make sure you have enough life preservers for the maximum amount of passengers. Have your kids try them on to make sure you have enough PFDs to fit them. As they’ve probably grown since last year, you may need to invest in new sizes.
Don’t Forget These Things…
It’s not enough for your boat to be in good condition (although that’s definitely required). There are a few other things to check:
- Take a look at your trailer. Is it in good condition? Do the lights work? Do you need to fill the tires?
- Make sure your license and registration are current.
- Update your boat insurance policy. And if you don’t have boat insurance, now is a great time to consider a policy to protect your boat and yourself.
Have questions about your current boat insurance policy? Need to update your coverage levels or information? Contact Charlotte Insurance today so we can help. And if you don’t currently have insurance for your boat, we can send you a quote!