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Early May Is the Perfect Time for Getting The Boat Ready For Summer
Posted by Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency on
There is so much to do in the month of May around the house and yard that it could keep a person busy well into June. But, be sure to put the watercraft on that list as well, so when the warmer weather comes around there isn’t a problem that is discovered and the boat ends up out of commission for the entire summer. Some marinas will offer a commissioning service to check a boat’s systems and get it ready for the water. But if you feel comfortable doing it yourself, it should only take a few hours of your time and save you quite a bit of money.
Here is a list of things that should be checked:
Battery, starter & alternator
Always make sure batteries are fully charged and load tested. Defective and/or inadequate batteries are one of the most common causes of problems in marine electrical systems.
Be sure all connections and terminals are tight and clean. Also, battery cable terminals need to be tight and should have a gap between the top of the terminal and the side of the clamp.
Remember to always tag wiring when removing any electrical unit. Also, feel the lines for soft spots. Soft spots usually indicate the wire is corroded and needs to be replaced.
Be sure to check for voltage drops. Low voltage will ruin your electrical components and shorten the life of a battery. Using the panel voltmeter, the reading should be around 12 with the ignition on, not running, and no other loads.
Fuels, oils & other fluids
Refer to the boat’s manufacturer manual for recommended intervals for changing the fluids. This important step will keep it running in tip top condition.
When changing the oil system, disable the bilge pump in case of a spill. Use an oil-only absorbent pad under the engine and in the bilge.
Use a plastic bag around the filter before removing to catch drips.
Lubricate “O” rings and prime the filter as necessary.
Top off the fluids, wipe up any spills and reconnect the bilge pump.
Check all the zippers & snaps for wear, tear and corrosion. Replace any that are starting to fray or corrode by a canvas repair shop or a do-it-yourself kit.
Reinforce the snaps that are located on the hull of the boat. Tighten any loosen snaps or replace them if they are too badly corroded or cannot be tightened. Be sure to use epoxy or a silicone sealant for a water tight seal.
Seals, impellers, hoses, hose clamps, and gaskets
All these items need to be checked thoroughly for deterioration, peeling or rusting.
Seals can be reinforced with an epoxy putty or silicone sealant.
Impellers need to be replaced when they start to fray. Remove the impeller and check thoroughly for any wear.
Check the tightness of all the hoses and the clamps. Replace any clamps that are starting to rust. Water, especially salt water, is very corrosive to metal.
Propeller and bilge pump.
Any damage such as dings, pitting or distortion should be either fixed by a professional repair shop, or depending on the amount of damage, replaced.
Use a garden hose to add water and some bilge cleaner into the bilge. The pump should kick on by itself and keep up with the constant flow of water coming from the hose. Continue this about 4 or 5 times to cycle the pump.
Once all the systems are checked, you will have ample time to address any repairs or replacements that are needed before summer rolls in. By that time, you will be able to enjoy the ride and the fishing….
Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions about different topics of interest, as well as insurance needs. But, by no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns. So, we strongly advise to check with an expert on the subject area discussed to address your specific needs. However, you can always contact us for any insurance questions or concerns you may have and we will be happy to help you. We are able to offer a complete line of auto insurance, homeowners insurance and marine insurance products for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.