It Is Time To get Your Boat Ready For Summer.
Well Summer isn't too far away with Winter well and truly behind us. It is time to dust off the boat and start getting your pride and joy ready for the boating season.
As with any boat trip, there are certain things that need to be checked in order to make your time on the water enjoyable. The last thing you want is for a piece of equipment to fail and spoil your day. Here is a list of some things that we recommend you do before wetting your boat for the first time this season.
Before each and every journey, no matter how long or short and no matter where it is, you should always check your boat to make sure that all your safety gear is on board.
Check your inflatable jackets are in good order and check to see if they require servicing or not. This means that you actually need to open up your jacket and check the service schedule to see when the jacket was last serviced.
If you open the inflatable jacket up and see any black areas on the bladder, I can guarantee you that the jacket will not pass an inspection and needs to be replaced. That black stuff is mould and what it does is put hundreds of tiny pin prick holes in the bladder. These holes are only detectable when the bladder is inflated under high pressure and soapy liquid is brushed on to the bladder. The bladders are not replaceable and unfortunately, your inflatable jacket will need to be replaced.
Check the rest of the boat and make sure that all the other required pieces of safety equipment are on board and are in good order and are servicable. Things like your navigation lights, fire extinguisher and bilge pump all must be operational.
Ensure your battery is fully charged before heading out and that it is holding charge. Many batteries die over winter, particularly those that haven't been used or put on charge over winter.
Dispose of any stale fuel that might have been sitting in the fuel tank for months. Fuel can be freshened up a tad by adding fresh fuel but if at all possible, it is best to get rid of the old stuff and replace it with nice fresh fuel.
Now is the perfect time to service your engine before the mechanics get too busy and before anything may go wrong rendering you without a boat until it can be fixed, which may be weeks in summer. Replacing the water pump/impellor is essential and whilst you are getting that done, get everything else checked or replaced like the gearbox oil, engine oil if you have a 4 stroke engine, spark plugs, fuel filter etc etc. Have the steering checked over as well.
Don't forget the trailer. Many people disregard the trailer but without it, your boat won't even get to the ramp or worse still, might suffer a major malfunction whilst travelling to or from the ramp and cause an accident. Have things like the wheel bearings, brakes (if fitted), lights, tyres and hitch checked over by a qualified mechanic. Your trailer is an important and essential piece of equipment and you need to treat it as such.
Spending a bit of time and money on your boat can make your summer and more importantly, your boat, so much more enjoyable and safe. Don't wait until it is too late and get yourself and your boat ready for this boating season.