You’re watching the weather slowly warm up, and you can’t wait to get your boat out of storage and onto the water. Before you do, make sure you prepare it and yourself for the upcoming boating season.
Here’s what you need to do to get ready.
Check Your Boat
The most important element of boating season is your boat. To make sure you have a great time out on the water, it’s important to make sure it’s in good condition before you take it out.
- Before winter, you should have filled your tank with fuel to prevent condensation from building. If you didn’t, you may need to get your boat in to be serviced.
- Also, take a look at the fuel line for cracks and make sure it’s attached properly. This is a good time to change your fuel filter, too.
- Reconnect your battery cables if you disconnected them when you winterized your boat. Make sure the terminals aren’t corroded, and clean them if they are. Test the battery before you take it out on the water.
- Fill up your cooling system if you emptied it before winter, and check the hoses for cracks.
- Check your oil, changing it now if you didn’t do it at the end of the season, and change the filter.
- Make sure the belts are all tight and fit properly. They shouldn’t move around a lot. Tighten or replace as needed.
If you see any problems with your boat or aren’t sure how to do some of these things, have your boat professionally serviced so it’s ready for the start of the season.
Check Your Trailer
If your boat must be hauled by trailer, you need to make sure that it’s in good condition, too.
- Make sure the tires are full with the correct level of air pressure. Check the tread and replace your tires if they’re worn down. You’ll also want to make sure your spare is in good condition.
- Check the lights at the back and the hook-up for your vehicle to ensure they work properly.
- Also, make sure your hitch is in good condition and the correct size.
Check Your Navigation and Safety Systems
Boating is fun and relaxing, until something goes wrong. Before you plan your first trip of the season, make sure your boat is ready for anything that could go wrong.
- Make sure your lights work.
- Check that your navigation charts are current and that your GPS and other equipment works properly.
- Make sure you have enough flares and that they’re still current.
- Inspect the condition of your dock lines, anchor lines, and running rigging.
- Check your life jackets. If you have children, find out if last year’s life jackets still fit or if it’s time to get bigger sizes for them.
As one final safety measure, to make sure you haven’t missed anything, contact the Coast Guard to ask about a courtesy vessel inspection. They’ll let you know what you can improve to stay as safe as possible.
Update Your Boat Insurance
Your boat is too big of an investment to leave to chance or to rely on your home insurance to cover. From potential damage to the boat to accidents out on the water, when something goes wrong, it’s going to be costly. Protect yourself and your family with the right kind and amount of boat insurance.
Contact Charlotte Insurance today to go over your current policy or to request a free quote for a new boat insurance policy.