Boats are a huge investment that many spend years saving up for. Like homes and vehicles, boats require regular maintenance to ensure peak performance and safety for owners and passengers.
One lackadaisical inspection or missed maintenance round could sink a prized vessel. Developing a routine and using a boating services checklist can help avoid common problems that can quickly ruin a day on the water.
About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, and boating is one of the most fun ways to explore it. But boating can be dangerous if you’re not prepared.
Before fueling, remember to shut all windows, hatches, and doors. Keep a fire extinguisher on board, and be aware of static electricity. It can spark a fire or pump gas into the wrong tank.
Aside from relying on experts in boating services like Great Lakes Yacht Sales, a safety equipment checklist is essential to ensure boaters have the proper supplies and safety equipment. It also makes it easier to adhere to maritime safety regulations.
The best practice when using a safety equipment checklist is to be thorough and take time with the checks. Additionally, it is essential to stay informed about the latest safety standards and regulations.
Oil on your boat can help with engine performance and the vessel’s overall condition. The oil can also prevent corrosion and help reduce the amount of friction between components.
Additionally, oil can also help keep fuel and petroleum products out of the water, which can damage bottom sediment and marine life. This is essential for preventing accidental spills.
Some people aren’t accustomed to swinging a wrench or doing on-the-water repairs. A fully stocked toolbox and a few basic supplies can save the day when things break down on your boat.
When you switch between freshwater lakes, rivers, and saltwater oceans, it’s essential to adjust your maintenance routine to account for the corrosive effects of saltwater on your boat.
DC (Direct Current) electricity runs your boat’s electronics, radio, VHF, and lighting. This system can create a fire if the circuit protection, such as fuses and circuit breakers, needs to be better installed.
Wires inside boats are exposed to water, salt, harsh sunlight, and varying temperatures. These factors can lead to corrosion, stress, and loose connections. This can cause hardware failures and stray current problems.
A boating safety checklist is critical no matter how river, lake, or sea-savvy you are. It will ensure that your boat is equipped with the necessary equipment and is ready to operate safely.
Navigation is the science of directing a craft to its destination. Recreational vessels are required to display navigation lights from sunset to sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility.
A wearable personal flotation device (PFD) is a boater’s most crucial safety equipment. Choose one that fits correctly and has a bright color to make it easier for other boaters to see.
Look for signs of deterioration in the buoyant material and mildew odor. Throw away any life jackets that are waterlogged or show signs of shrinkage. Also, remember to wash and hang life jackets regularly.
First Aid Kit
Though not legally required, having some backup equipment on board can significantly improve your boating experience. This includes having a well-stocked first aid kit large enough for the number of people on your trip, extra dock lines, and a tool kit to make basic repairs.
A Boat Safety Equipment Checklist is a must, and it will vary by the type of boat you have and the body of water you’re navigating.
Drowning is the cause of most boating accidents, and most people who drown are not wearing a life jacket. Always read the hang tag on each life jacket to ensure it is rated for your size, activity, and the area you will be boating.
Look for a curved arrow with a slash to indicate that the life jacket is designed to turn most wearers’ faces up. Also, ensure the life jacket fits correctly by putting it on and zip or buckle it up.
Life Jacket Replacement
Life jackets are a crucial safety tool. For this reason, they should be inspected regularly for rips, holes, and the integrity of their stitching.
A pool or calm beach is a suitable testing environment. If a life jacket can’t be easily inflated, it should be replaced. In addition, most state laws require that inflatable PFDs be serviced annually. This includes thoroughly inspecting the fabric straps, CO2 cylinder, and hardware.
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