This weekend here in the mid Atlantic, it’s going to be 70 degrees. The first real believable start of spring. And the one thing on our minds here at Woody Boater, is….. I need to take my allergy pills now…In a couple weeks, though we are going to put our boats into the water. DO NOT FORGET TO CALL HAGERTY if your boat was on storage mode. Many folks forget to change the status of there boats and that might not be a good thing if something happens on the water. And the first couple times in the water after a winter storage can be one of the more risky times. So call… The good folks at Hagerty Marine Insurance also sent along these tips on getting ready for a fun summer of boating.
Keeping your boat in good working order is as much a part of the boating experience as boating itself.
This is especially true when taking your vessel out of a long hibernation in winter storage. Here are some quick tips to help you prepare your craft for another great season on the water.
• Check all screws, bolts and other fittings to ensure they are properly secured.
• Keep the hulls and decks of the boat cleaned and waxed. This will protect the hull from sun damage and hairline cracks and will help increase your fuel efficiency.
• Coat all electrical fittings with a water-repelling, non-conductive grease or corrosion inhibitor, such as Pertox.
Engines and Fuel Systems
• Inspect fuel lines, fill and vent hoses for softness, brittleness or cracking.
• Check all joints for leaks.
• Clean and tighten both ends of the battery cables. Don’t forget to check the battery water level.
• Examine fuel tanks, fuel pumps, filters and cooling hoses for any leaks. Replace any rusted clamps.
• Inspect tire treads and sidewalls for cracks or lack of tread, and replace as necessary. Be sure to double-check air pressure.
• Look over the bearings and repack as needed, since these tend to run dry after repeated exposure to water.
• Test tail and back-up lights.
Before Getting Wet
• Examine the prop for dings, pitting and distortion, as well as the hull for blisters and stress cracks.
• Make sure the engine intake sea strainer is free of corrosion and is properly secured.
• With your boat on the trailer, swell the planks or strakes by wetting the bottom (preferably from the outside) to confirm you won’t overtake the bilge pump capacity when you launch.
Last But Not Least
• Check expiration dates on flares and fire extinguishers.
• Inspect dock and anchor lines for chaffing.
• Update or replace old charts and waterway guides.
• Make sure your boating license and registration are up-to-date and stored in a safe, waterproof place.
Hagerty Insurance Agency, Inc. is the leading insurance agency for classic cars and boats in the nation. In addition to insurance for qualifying boats, Hagerty offers a multitude of resources catering to the needs of classic car and boat enthusiasts including Hagerty Classic Cars Magazine, Hagerty Price Guide, and a youth outreach program called Operation Ignite! geared towards getting young people involved in this industry. For more information, call (800) 762-2628 or visit www.hagertymarine.com