Summer is right around the corner, which means long summer days lazing around the pool, summer evenings grilling on the bar-b-que and summer nights gathered around the camp fire drinking sweet tea and eating roasted marshmallows. It also means glorious days spent out on the water in your speed boat, pontoon or other water vessel. Before you can take your watercraft out on the water, however, there are a few important items that you need to take care of. From cleaning your boat to making sure that all the components work properly to investing in boat insurance, there is a checklist of summer boating chores that you need to complete to guarantee nothing but fun-in-the-sun this season.
Check Your Boat’s Mechanical and Electrical Systems
Electrical shortages and mechanical issues don’t just put a damper on the fun. They also pose a very real safety hazard. Electrical issues can cause fires, and mechanical issues can cause you to lose control when out on the open water. Protect yourself, your family and others on the water by doing your part when it comes to boat inspection and maintenance.
If your boat has been in storage for even just a single season, its battery may need to be replaced. Start up your boat to test it. Even if your boat starts up nicely, place your battery on the charger until you are ready to set sail. Once you’ve checked your battery, check the pumps, lights and gauges to make sure that all work properly. Replace any burnt out or dull bulbs, as you will need those at dusk and nightfall.
Once you have investigated the smaller components, it is time to take a look at the bigger fish—namely your engine. Start her up to make sure that she is purring like a kitten. Flush the engine fuel and replace it with new stuff, as engine fuel can become contaminated when left to sit for three months or more. Check your oil, filters and spark plugs as well.
Once your engine’s fuel has been flushed and replaced and the oil changed, turn it back on. Let it idle for a bit and just sit back and listen. Rev it up as well, just to test it at different “speeds.” Do you notice any strange noises? If you notice anything abnormal, do not chance it and get your boat into a professional for a tune up.
Clean Your Boat’s Interior and Exterior Surfaces
Anything put in storage for extended periods of time is bound to collect dust, bugs, cobwebs and other unwanted debris. Start with your boat’s interior surfaces, such as storage compartments, as this is sure to be where any larger critters are hiding. Open up the compartments and then step back and air them out. Bang around the top of them to see if anything is living inside of them. If you’re not a fan of rodents, have your significant other or a friend do this part for you.
Once you’re sure that there are no critters hiding in your boat, take out all life jackets, ropes, skis, wakeboards and other equipment and give those a good hosing. Vacuum out the compartments and sweep the floors. Once everything has dried, put it all back into the compartments and close them up.
Next, take a rag soaked in recommended cleaning treatment and wipe down all seats, dashboards, cupholders, windows and other surfaces. Last but not least, suds up the outside of your boat with soap and water and spray it down. Dry it and, if you’re really feeling motivated, give it a finishing coat.
Invest in a Strong Watercraft Insurance Policy
Not all states require boating insurance, but many do. However, even if your state does not, boat insurance is a good investment. Boating accidents are not all that uncommon, and if you’re party to one and you DON’T have insurance, the out-of-pocket costs can be outrageous. Protect your investment and yourself from possible liability by working with an insurance agency to build the right policy for your needs. Whether you need coverage for a Seadoo, a houseboat, pontoon boat, dinghy, pleasure boat, speed boat or sport fishing boat, RVInsurances.com has the policy you need. Request a competitive quote today to get started.