Even though the coronavirus has thrown a wrench into almost all activities, boating is still an option for your household. However, you must get your boat ready before you can hit the water.
Here are a few suggestions to get your craft into tip-top shape for another enjoyable season.
Clean & Polish
Even if you’ve covered your boat for the winter, it will need attention. Stow your cover and clean away any dust and grime. Apply a good layer of marine paste wax to the topside, except for non-skid areas. Paste wax lasts longer than other products and buffs to a brilliant shine.
Replace Drain Plug
You’d be surprised how many boaters forget to replace the plug before they launch. Double check it’s in place. Otherwise your first boating adventure will certainly be a memorable one, and not for the right reasons.
Check the Battery
After sitting for months, your boat’s battery may need charging or even replacement. If the battery’s up to snuff, run the electrical and test the lights, pumps, and gauges. Replace burnt out bulbs and other defective equipment.
Check Mechanicals & Fluids
Remove the cowling and check for condensation or other problems. Check hose clamps, fittings, wiring, throttle, shift and steering cables, belts, and replace zinc anodes. Clean and clear strainers, check lube and transmission oil, coolant, and spark plugs.
Prep the Trailer
Test the brakes and signal lights, grease the wheel bearings, and lubricate the hitch mechanism. Check the winch cable/strap and tires for wear. Ensure tires, including the spare, are properly inflated.
Check Your Gear
Check your fire extinguisher and flares are up-to-date. Pull out personal flotation devices and anchoring gear, inspect, and re-stow. Also test the bilge pump and blowers. You don’t want to discover they don’t work when you need them the most.
Don’t forget about personal items such as toilet paper, insect repellant, and sunscreen. Restock as needed.
Are you Legal?
Have you renewed your registration and put the sticker on your craft? Does everyone born on or after January 1, 1986, operating the motorized vessel have a boater education card?
Are You Insured?
Don’t assume your Rhode Island homeowners insurance policy will provide adequate insurance coverage for your boat. A typical homeowners policy only provides between $1,000 and $1,500 for damages and little or no liability coverage.
Unless you own a canoe or kayak that’s worth less than your homeowners coverage, give us a call to discuss a boat insurance policy. Boat insurance offers more comprehensive coverage with higher limits and it’s very affordable.
Without it, you risk losing your asset if you’re in a serious accident. If an accident leads to injury or death, it could devastate your finances and your future. It’s just not worth it when boat insurance costs less than you might think and it offers peace of mind and financial protection.