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10 Essential Checks For New Season Boating

Winter’s over, so that means it’s time for some new season boating. But wait, there’s a few key things to check before getting out on the water! Check out our 10 essential checks for new season boating below.
 
Key things to check:
 
• The engine and fuel tank
• The sails
• Belts and cables
• Elecetrical connections
• Various fluid levels
• Propellers
• Life saving equipment
• Ropes
• Drain plug
• Boat insurance
 
 

1) Engine/Fuel

Perhaps the most important part of any motored boat, the engine should be the first point of call to check after your winter break – particularly the fuel tank.
 
Check that the dreaded diesel algae hasn’t found its way into your tank, as well as any tank vents and exhaust. Finally, make sure your fuel hose has no cracks or leaks. Otherwise your new season boating will be put on hold!
 
©iStock image 

2) Sails

For those of you without a motor, the best place to start is with the sails. Pass an eye over them and see if there’s been any wear and tear since last time – taking particular care to check the battens and bolt rope.
 
Similarly, the mast and spreaders shouldn’t have any corrosion or obvious damage before getting them back up to start your new season boating.
 

3) Belt

Have the belts, cables or hoses on your boat become damaged over winter? Make sure to double check them, as they can get brittle and crack in the cold. A good way of knowing if you have a worn- out belt is the black residue it leaves by the pulley – keep an eye out.
 

4) Electrical connections

Late season sailing can leave a nasty combination of water and salt on your electrical connections. If that’s been left alone over winter, it’s the perfect combination for corrosion. Have a glance over your electricals to make sure they haven’t corroded before setting off.
 
If they are showing signs of corrosion, detach the terminals and give them a good scrub with a wire brush. Then make sure they’re tight when they go back on. Finally, make sure any batteries are not only charged, but hold their charge well.
 

5) Fluid levels

Boats have plenty of different fluids to keep an eye on. Coolant, power steering, fuel and engine oil are the most important. Many people choose to change their engine oil, filter and drive lubricants before storing their boat for winter, but if you didn’t – do it before beginning your new season boating.
 

6) Propeller

Your propeller keeps you moving, so take care of it. Whether it’s a pit, a crack, a bump or ding – they can all cause drag and unwanted vibration. It’s the fastest way to damage your drive train, so make sure it’s secure and undamaged.
 
©iStock image 
 

7) Safety equipment

Safety equipment should always be one of your biggest priorities to check not just ahead of your new season boating, but ahead of every trip. Are there enough life jackets for everyone on board? Are they the right size? Are they in good working condition?
 
It’s not just life jackets that should be the priority though, fire extinguishers are also essential. Ensure they’re fully stocked, put in the proper places and – most importantly – the right type for your vessel.
 

8) Ropes

Cables and hoses aren’t the only things that can get brittle over winter – the essential ropes you use to tie up, furl the sails and more, could all have become worn or cracked too. Make sure to check your tow ropes and anchor ropes thoroughly. If you don’t think they’ll last the whole season – replace them before you sail.
 
©Pixabay image 
 

9) Drain plug

It’s the most obvious part of a boat, and yet somehow, the easiest to forget. As the name suggests, your drain plug stops water getting into the boat through the drainage hole in the bottom. Every sailor has a horror story about sinking or taking on water due to forgetting the drain plug – so it’s on this list. You’ll thank us.
 

10) Boat insurance

Everything in this list is designed to give you peace of mind when starting your new season boating after winter. For true peace of mind, you can’t get better than specialist boat insurance. Insure4Boats have made-to-measure boat insurance, tailored just for you.
 
What’s more, their Lowest Price Guarantee means you’ll know you’re getting the best deal! Plus, to celebrate the start of the new season, you can also save a huge 20% on your boat insurance today. Hurry though, offer expires 30th April 2017.
 
Visit Insure4Boats today, and see how affordable true peace of mind can be.