It’s springtime, which means boating season will be here before you know it. There is a lot of preparation needed before you can hit the water, and you don’t want to miss out on boating time when you could have taken care of things beforehand.
It’s important to take stock of your inventory and check your life jackets and other safety equipment on board. Below are some valuable tips to help you get ready for boating season.
Use the time you have before boating season starts to make sure you are ready to hit the water. Make sure you have taken the boating course and your certificates are up to date.
Review technical details of your boat. Read the owner’s manual and the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines, and familiarize yourself with all of its components and safety features. It’s worth it every year to review your boat before the spring boating season begins.
Conduct Basic Maintenance
Although your boat has probably been sitting in storage, you will want to do some essential maintenance and checks before taking it near the water.
- Check Mechanical and Electrical Components – check that batteries are charged, and make sure to clean connections to prevent problems on the day you plan to take the boat on the water. You will also want to check electrical lines and systems.
- Give the Boat a Once-Over – you will need to give the boat a once-over and examine the hull. Inspect the hull for any damage and give it a good cleaning. Check fittings, swim ladders, and hatches.
- Check Navigation Equipment
Your navigation and anchor lights should have been checked during the once-over, but it is worth it to pack extra bulbs to be sage, and you should make sure that your navigation charts are up to date. Test your GPS, radar, and radio to ensure they are in working order before going out on the water.
Check Safety Equipment
Make sure your safety equipment is to code and in good shape. This includes checking emergency signaling equipment and signal flares. Make sure they are stored in an easily accessible location on the boat. If expired, replace before taking the boat on the water. Boats typically need to have the following safety equipment:
- One life jacket per passenger on board
- A fire extinguisher, number of fire extinguishers vary depending on boat size,
- First aid kit
If you are unsure what equipment is needed in your boat, make sure to check out a boat guide because you don’t want to start your boating season off with a fine.
Licencing and Registration
Keep your boat registration and boating certificate in a safe and dry place. The same applies to your fishing license if you are using your boat for fishing. Also, make sure your insurance is up to date in case of an accident.
Make a List
Making a list helps you focus on what needs to be done to prepare your boat. Here are the most significant things to include on your list for getting your boat ready:
- General cleaning tasks (deck, hull, topsides_
- Check drains for blockages
- Wash bota and add a coat of wax to protect the paint
- Clean wood finishes and oil them, clean fixtures, such as windows, hatches, and blinds
- Replace wiper blades if worn
- Inspect ladder, rails, trim, and fittings
- Check portlights to make sure they work, change and burnt out bulbs
- Inspect hoses, and clamps, including waterline hoses
- Have engine serviced or inspected by a mechanic
Take the time to go through your boat and make sure everything is working correctly. Getting stranded out in the water can be a scary experience that can be avoided with maintenance and preparation.