Memorial Day seems to be the unofficial day to break out the watercrafts and boats. Before you get too far in the season, though, make sure you’ve done a thorough pre-season check. From the engine and propeller down to your trailer, a little preparation as you get your boat out of storage can help you start off the season right — and get the most out of your time on board.
Here are ten tips from Discover Boating to get you started:
1. Check your safety gear. Do you have enough life jackets? Are they in good shape? What about onboard fire extinguishers? Are your navigation lights working?
2. Consider adding safety items. Should disaster strike, an emergency position indicating radio beacon can help rescuers find you and your boat. If you have an enclosed space on the boat, you should have a carbon-monoxide detector.
3. Examine your fuel system. Any leaks or damage should be addressed immediately.
4. Look at all belts, hoses and cables. Those that appear brittle or cracked most likely need to be replaced.
5. Check fluid levels, such as engine oil. Change or add as needed.
6. Have your battery and electrical system checked. Look for corrosion on your electrical connections.
7. Make sure your propeller isn’t banged up. Dings and distortion can cause vibration, as well as damage your drive train.
8. Look at the hull for blisters and cracks. Repair or patch damage, and make sure to use an environmentally safe solution when washing the exterior and interior.
9. Don’t forget the trailer. Treat your trailer with as much care as you show your boat. Inspect the hubs occasionally, and check your lights before every trip. If you go boating in salt water, give the trailer a very good rinse afterward.
10. Don’t forget insurance, either! It’s a good idea to check your coverage as you head into boating season, too. Just give us a call, and we can help you with a quick insurance review.
There’s nothing quite like a sunny – and safe – day on our lakes and rivers in Missouri. We’ll see you out there!