Spring has arrived and that means boat owners are preparing to head for open waters. The end of winter marks the beginning of the boat cruising season, and many are anxious to get out. However, after months of winter storage, you need to ensure your vessel is ready for use. Lack of preparation can result in devastating damage or losses, potentially putting your boat temporarily or permanently out of commission.
Preparation Measures Every Boater Need to Take
Regardless of the method you use for winter storage, it is important to do a thorough inspection of your vessel’s exterior, mechanics and fluids. Improper winter storage is one of the leading causes of boating emergencies in the early cruising season. Creating a checklist can help you keep track of what needs to be done before you embark on your first boat cruising trip.
Change Oil and Filters
No matter when you last changed your oil and replaced your filters, you need to do it again before you set out on the water. Neglecting this step can result in a loss of power once your boat is running, leaving you stranded and requiring costly rescue assistance. Your boat insurance might not cover this expense if the cause is attributed to owner neglect.
Check Seacocks and Hoses
Before you begin the boat cruising season, check that seacocks are properly functioning by opening and closing each of them. You will also want to inspect your hoses. Look for kinks, especially at the fitting, which can lead to cracks and leaking. Feel for any moisture and, if found, investigate the source. If clamps are used to secure hoses, it is necessary to remove the clamps to determine if they caused any damage during storage.
Examine the condition of your vessel’s impellers for any damage received from the previous season. Replacing damaged impellers is imperative to the safe operation of your boat. A bad impeller can cause catastrophic damage to your engine, potentially cutting short your boat cruising adventures.
Prepare Your Vessel’s Safety Equipment
Even if you have not touched your boat safety equipment since last season, you need to check that you have all of the U.S. Coast Guard-mandated equipment and that it is all in good, operating condition. Replace anything that is worn, expired or malfunctioning. Proper safety equipment is your legal obligation, but it also provides you peace of mind for carefree boat cruising.
About Mariners General Insurance Group
Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (888) 402-5018 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.