And boom, it’s summertime! It seems like you blink and all of the sudden you can’t go anywhere without sweating through all of your clothes. You’re left with really one option: you need to get near a body of water, and fast! And as lake season arrives, it’s important to make sure your boats and watercrafts are ready to come out of hibernation.
Here at Weed Ross, we offer top-notch boat insurance so that you feel comfortable during all your voyages and can rest assured that your watercraft is protected. With that said, it’s even more ideal for you if you never even have to use your boat insurance, because that means everything is going swimmingly. So we thought we’d put together a checklist and instructional guide to help ensure that your boat is ready for lake season. We’re here for all of your boat insurance questions too, but let’s just try our best to have a fun summer without any paperwork, shall we?
In this article, we will cover:
- Inspect Your Boat’s Hull and Propellers
- Check Your Boat’s Essential Systems
- Clean and Shine Your Boat
- Optimize Your Boat for Safety
- Properly Launch Your Boat
Inspect Your Boat’s Hull and Propellers
Firstly, and just in case you weren’t sure, the hull of a boat is the part that touches the water, and the portion of the boat that keeps it afloat. For this reason, the hull is extremely crucial to inspect. You’ll want to check for cracks, dents, dings, and other types of damage that could potentially cause trouble out on the water. Next, check the propeller for similar damage and make sure that it is secure. Boats can sometimes get roughed up in storage or from general wear and tear, or even from lack of usage.
Check your Boat’s Essential Systems
One of the best ways to avoid needing to use your boat insurance is to ensure that your boat’s systems are functioning properly. This can get a bit technical, so it’s not a bad idea to hire a professional boat mechanic for this step, though it can be done on your own if you’re up for the challenge.
Start by inspecting the fuel system—look for damage to the hoses, tanks, fittings, and clamps. You’ll also want to check on the exhaust and ventilation systems. Anything that appears more than aesthetically impairing should be repaired or replaced entirely. Next, take a look at your boat’s electrical system. Does everything turn on when it’s supposed to? Do the gauges and meters respond how they should? Look over all of your electrical connections and be sure to clean off any corrosion. Testing your boat battery is also advisable, and if need be, give it a full charge. Additionally, check all of your engine fluids and top of wherever needed. This includes engine oil, power steering fluid, coolant, and gas.
Clean and Shine Your Boat
Cleaning and shining your boat is not just ideal for showing off your watercraft, it’s also an important step in terms of boating safety. If your boat was covered and in storage, the cleaning should actually be pretty straightforward. However, some boats acquire a significant amount of grime and sometimes rust in the offseason, and it’s critical that you remedy these things. Some forms of grime and rust can eat away at your boat, slowly causing corrosion and ultimately part failure. You won’t want to overlook this step. Also, in terms of aesthetics, use a UV protectant on any exposed elements, as long-term sun exposure can cause substantial damage to your vessel.
Optimize Your Boat for Safety
Before launching your boat, you’ll want to do a final safety check. Make sure you have adequate life vests on board, check your fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors, and be sure that you have a first aid kit handy for any type of physical incidents that may occur. Additionally, it’s a good idea to make sure your flares are current, and stock up with newer ones if necessary. Still hang onto the old ones, though, as backups. Ensure that your horn works, your radio functions, and your anchor is securely fastened and functional. You’ll thank yourself later for these precautions.
Properly Launch Your Boat
The final step is simply launching your boat, but before you do, double check your boat insurance, boating licenses, and boating registration. Make sure they are all up-to-date and legal, and check to see that your validation decal is clearly visible. Since this will be your first time out on the water this year, it’s a good idea to let your engine run for a few minutes before taking her for a spin, just to be extra cautious. And finally, enjoy your time out on the water, and have a great summer of fun on the water!
Weed Ross is an insurance agency that specializes in providing the best coverage for whatever your insurance needs may be. As major sailing and boating advocates ourselves, we take pride in making sure that your boating experience is not only excellent, but also safe. Do you still have questions on getting your boat ready for lake season? Do you have questions about boat insurance, or any other type of insurance in general? If so, give us a shout, and we will be happy to help. Contact your local insurance experts at Weed Ross today.