Ship-Shape and Safe: How to Ready Your Boat for Your Next Trip

There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as a nice relaxing voyage out into the water with your own boat. However, before you enjoy that time out on the water, there are some things you must take care of first. A boat is a big investment. You need to protect it through proper maintenance. Doing so will also help ensure that you’re safe on the water. Below are some ways you can prepare your boat for your next trip.

Inspect the Anodes

One thing you should do is check your vessel’s anodes for deterioration. The anodes help show you what would happen to important pieces of machinery on your boat while under the water without their presence. If they’re about 50 percent deteriorated, it’s time to replace them.

Check the Propellers

Another item on your maintenance checklist should be inspecting your boat’s propellers. Things you should be looking for include dings, distortion, and pitting corrosion in the metal. It’s not only the props that can be damaged by such wear and tear. Damage to the propellers can cause extra vibration in the water. That vibration could end up loosening bulkheads and screws. It could even damage the transmission.

Clean the Interior and Exterior

If you want to protect your investment and really make your vessel into something to marvel at, you should always clean the interior and exterior before taking it out on a voyage. You shouldn’t clean your boat like you do your car either. You should get specialized boat cleaner, deck wax, salt remover, and more to help you do the job. You can find these at a marine maintenance parts supply store.

Inspect Your Fuel System

The fuel system is of course also integral to your vessel operating properly. Make sure to inspect it and perform maintenance as needed. You need to examine the fuel lines including the vent and fill hoses. Look for cracks in the hoses as well as any signs of brittleness. If you find damage, replace them before going out on the water.

Inspect All Safety Gear

Boating is actually very dangerous. If you want to be safe, you need the right safety gear on-board. This includes having enough life jackets of the right rating for your passengers. It also includes checking other kinds of safety gear like fire extinguishers and flares. If you don’t have a properly operating fire extinguisher, you may not be able to put out an on-board fire.

Being a boat owner is a big responsibility. It’s a huge monetary investment. You must perform routine maintenance to protect that investment. Even more importantly, proper maintenance can prevent tragedies from happening on the water. Take this responsibility seriously.