Spring has finally sprung! The days have started growing longer and the temperature continues to slowly rise. For those of you who love spending time on the water, the time to get on your boat is near. If you’re eager to set sail, remember that advance preparation will prevent any problems from keeping you on dry land. Follow these steps to get as much time on the water as possible this year!
Perform boat maintenance
Every boat needs routine maintenance, but what exactly you need to do will depend on your boat. Check all the engine fluids and make sure everything is in working order, and have a certified engine mechanic tune up your engine. Check your other equipment like bilge pumps and water systems. Stock up on any spare parts that you might need on longer outings. Lastly, give your vessel a good cleaning to get her ready for your first trip of the season.
Check your safety and navigation equipment
You absolutely must make sure that your vessel is as safe as can be. Double check your navigation lights and purchase replacement bulbs for them as well as for your running and anchor lights. Inspect your anchor line, mooring lines and rigging to make sure they’re in good condition. Invest in a fire extinguisher, make sure that you have as many PFDs as necessary, and then check all of your electronics. This means your GPS, VHF radios and your radar. Always go a step above and beyond when it comes to safety!
Get your trailer ready
If you pull your boat on a trailer, you need to make sure that your trailer works properly too! Check all of the tires, and the spare, to ensure they’re in good condition. Inspect all the wiring and check to see that all of the lights work properly. Double check the entire trailer — the hitch, chains, the winch, support pads and anything else. You don’t want to miss out on boating time because of a problem with your trailer!
Plan and prepare for your trips
Though spontaneity makes for good stories, you may want to plan ahead so that you can make sure to find marina slips when necessary. Lots of harbors and marinas will take reservations but you will want to schedule well ahead of time — the most popular places will fill up the fastest!
Stock up on the extras
You’ll want to make sure that you stock your boat with everything you need to make a trip enjoyable. For example, don’t forget the sunscreen! Other extras that make an excursion much more fun include extra towels, folding chairs, a Bluetooth speaker for music and a small grill. No doubt you’ll think of more every year, so keep a running list of these extras so you’ll be ready next year!
Make sure your insurance is as ready as your boat
We hope you never need to file a claim, but make sure that your boat is properly insured and that your policy covers everything you need it to. If you need a new policy or just have questions about boating insurance, NE Insurance wants to help! Feel free to reach out to us and we’ll gladly show you what we can do for you and your boat! If you’re thinking about buying a boat, make sure that you make shopping for boat insurance a priority as well! Contact NE Insurance to request a quote and discuss your boat policy needs.
Whether you’re new to boating or an old salt, make sure that you have your vessel ready for spring by following this checklist. Stay safe out there, and enjoy the water!