If you plan to spend the summer boating, you probably have two questions on your mind. First, you want to know, “What should I do to prepare my boat for the summer?” Then, you can’t help but wonder, “How do you stay safe on a boat?” Let’s start with some tips to prepare your boat for summer.
It’s easy to prepare your boat for summer. Check out these five tips, so you’ll be ready to hit the water.
1. Check Your Battery Connections
Make sure your battery connections are tight and secure and that the cables’ ends aren’t corroded. If you have a problem with your battery connections, you could lose power to your boat when you’re on the water.
2. Check the Engine Fluids
You also need to check the boat’s engine fluids. That includes power steering, coolant, power trim, and engine oil. If you didn’t change your engine oil before you docked for the season, do so now.
3. Check the Safety Equipment
When you prepare a boat for summer, you also need to check the safety equipment. That includes the different lights, horn, fire extinguisher, and more. Never go out on the water without making sure that all your safety equipment works as it should.
4. Inspect the Propellers
Visually inspect your propellers, checking for cracks, dings, and distortion. If your propellers are damaged, they might destroy your drivetrain.
5. Get a Free Vessel Safety Check
Before you put your boat in the water, get a free Vessel Safety Check courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons. The professionals will examine your boat to ensure that it’s safe to operate. You’ll have peace of mind after your boat undergoes a safety check.
What Should Boat Drivers Do for Their Own Safety?
Once your boat is prepared, you’ll be one step closer to hitting the water. First, though, you need to find out how to stay safe once you get on your boat. Let’s go over some essential boating safety tips.
Travel at a Safe Speed
When there isn’t a speed limit listed, you probably can’t help but ask, “What is a safe speed on a boat?” A safe speed is the one that allows you to drive defensively and avoid collisions. When determining the safe speed, consider visibility, wind, and traffic density.
Boating and alcohol are a dangerous combination. It’s easy to overindulge when you’re on the water and in the hot sun, so don’t drink. That’s the easiest way to stay safe on the water.
Don’t Go Over the Maximum Capacity
Don’t make the mistake of going over the maximum capacity when you’re on the water—factor in the number of guests and the equipment. If you’re overloaded, don’t get on the water.
Get Boat Insurance
Now you know how to prepare your boat for summer, and you’ve learned some important safety tips. You’re almost ready to hit the water, but you still have one thing left: get boat insurance to protect you and your valuables when you’re on the water.
Get a Freeway quote for boat or watercraft insurance and find the best policy for your needs. Start your free quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.