Are you ready to have some fun in the sun? We're midway through spring and summer is just around the corner, which means it's about that time to pull out the boat for some lake action! Whether you enjoy fishing, tubing, or hanging out on the vessel with your friends, there are plenty of activities to look forward to on the water. However, not having a fully operating boat will make you want to jump overboard rather than enjoy the day on the waves. Thankfully, we're here to help provide the necessary tips to help you prepare for boating season. Check out these handy boat maintenance tips for spring!
To make sure your boat doesn't break down on the water, you'll need to carry out a full inspection of your vessel. The last thing you want is to be stranded out in the middle of the lake due to a poor diagnosis!
Boating Safety Checklist
- First, take a look at your fuel system to make sure that there isn't any leaks or damage to the hoses or main tank. If you see any evidence of deterioration to these components, then you need to look into repairing or replacing them. Depending on where you stored your boat during the winter months, there's a good chance that it was exposed to freezing temperatures and harsh conditions. This can have a disastrous effect on your belts, cables, and other hoses causing them to crack or loosen. One main sign to look for when detecting worn impaired belts is a black residue near the pulley. If this is evident, then you'll need to replace the belt and make sure it's fastened tightly.
- The functionality of your boat's electric system and propeller are essential to ensuring smooth sailing. Do a quick run through of your battery and wire connections to verify that there are no signs of corrosion. It would be wise to test your battery before hitting the water to confirm it can successfully hold a charge.
- Inspect the boat's propeller, carefully inspect it for any cracks, dings, or distortion. A busted propeller can result in a very bumpy ride and can even do damage to your engine and transmission.
- Inspect the boat's hull to look for any damage or abnormalities. Even the slightest fracture can worsen with use, so take every measure you can to prevent the sinking of your ship.
- Replenish all of your boat's fluid levels, including coolants, power steering, drive lubricants, and engine oil. If you did not winterize your boat beforehand, then this is a critical step in order to ensure your boat is functioning at full speed. It also wouldn't hurt to give your boat's hull, deck, and topside a good thorough wash so that your vessel is ready to shine on the water!
- Put together a safety kit. Boating accidents are common and you want to make sure that you're prepared for anything, especially if you're on the water with multiple people. We also urge you to store plenty of lifejackets on board and enforce riders to have them on at all times!
Remember, not only does the boat need to be prepared for its return on the water, so does the driver. If you haven't boated in a while, it would be wise to ease back into things instead of hitting the ground running. Operating a boat is a lot different than driving a car and it takes enormous care and concentration, so you need to get back into a groove to make sure you're not a threat to yourself or others on the water.
Before getting your boat ready to ride, now is a great time to make sure that all of your boat insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call to have an agent review your policy to confirm that your boat insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy and answer any questions you might have. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insured through us!