The weather has been lovely. Have you been out on the water yet? If you haven’t, it may be because you haven’t prepared your boat for the new season. Getting your boat ready for the season is a rite of spring that helps prevent any potential problems from occurring on the water. Here is a spring boating checklist you can use as you are completing your annual prep work.
The fuel system is what makes your vessel go. If it fails to work properly, you won’t get anywhere fast. Here is what you need to do:
Just like you would in your vehicle, check your fluid levels. Check the level of oil, the power steering fluid and the coolant. Change or top off any fluids that are looking low. That said, if you did not change the oil filter and oil before you winterized your boat, do it now.
If your boat is equipped with a motor, check the propellers before your first cruise on the water. Look for distortion, cracks or pits. When you turn over your engine, you may be able to “feel” damaged propellers. While you are performing your inspection, look at bearings and replace any that need it.
Again, this is similar to what you would be looking for in a car. Look for cracks or brittleness in your hoses, cables and belts. This is a common occurrence over the winter. If anything looks dried out, replace it now. It is much cheaper to replace a worn belt than to repair the damage they can cause if you ignore them.
If you notice any bulging or cracking in the coating on your cables, you are looking at the potential for failure if you choose to turn a blind eye. Have a certified mechanic check out the cables to determine if they need to be replaced before you head out for the first time.
Safety equipment is required to be aboard your vessel by law, but it also needs to be in good repair. It does no one any good to have safety gear aboard the boat that won’t offer any protection. Check life jackets to make sure that they are in good condition. You should also make sure that you have enough for any passengers you plan on taking along for the ride. It’s always a good idea to have a couple more life jackets than you plan on needing.
Take a look at any fire extinguishers you have aboard the boat to be sure they are charged and of the correct class. You should have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in any enclosed area of the vessel. If the Coast Guard is offering free inspections in your area, take advantage of them. These inspections may alert you to problems you weren’t aware of.
When you take the time to inspect your boat and make any necessary repairs or replacements, you are helping to ensure your safety and that of your passengers. While it can certainly be expensive to repair what’s broken, it’s nothing to compared to the price you will pay if you choose to ignore issues that lead to an accident. If you plan on boating this year and own your own vessel, follow the list above to get your boat ready for spring and summer.
When people are involved in a boating accident in West Palm Beach, the injuries sustained can range from mild to severe. When those injuries are sustained because of someone’s negligence or error, victims may have the right to compensation. Reach out to our boating accident attorneys today to discover what your rights may be.
As a victim, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Do not assume that you have to suffer financial difficulty because of your accident. Call our office today to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation.