Summer season is among us. The days are getting longer and warmer, and boaters are inevitably eager to make the most of it. Before you hit the water though, it’s important to take the time to conduct basic checks, services and boat maintenance to ensure everything is adequately equipped and ready ahead of the peak period.
Nick Jones, a local marine service provider, has been working been working in the industry for the past 15 years and recommends boaters get their checks and services done sooner rather than later.
“My advice is to plan out maintenance in advance to ensure you’re not left rushing to get it ready for the next perfect day out.”
Jones also recommends using good weather apps before you go out, suggesting, “it’s always beneficial to source weather updates from at least a couple of different sources as they tend to interpret weather models differently. And of course, always leave the dock with a plan”.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of must-dos to help jog your memory and get you started:
First Aid & Safety
Before you do anything, conduct a thorough check of your first aid and safety equipment. Make sure you have accessible life jackets, your first aid kit is compliant, and you have sufficient flares with new batteries in them.
Engine And Battery
Arrange a full engine service and battery check before you go anywhere. Boats are built to be used, so if they have been slightly stagnant during the quieter season then chances are they will be less reliable and in need of jolting back to life. The same goes for boaters – once you’ve done all your checks and services, it’s worthwhile taking the boat out briefly to re-familiarise yourself with it before taking any bigger trips and/or the family out in tow.
Insurance and Registration
Make sure your insurance and registration haven’t expired and all your contact details are up to date with your providers. If your boat is berthed at Hidden Harbour Marina, check to make sure that Owner’s Corporate have a copy of your current insurance policy.
Your deck hardware blocks, shackles and sheet winches should be checked and serviced well before you hit the water. An assessment of any UV damage – and whether or not it is beyond a normal level – should be addressed, and while it may seem obvious remember to keep your sails clean throughout summer to minimise salt and debris derived damage.
Check Fuel Tanks For Condensation
Tanks that are not full can attract condensation, resulting in water in the fuel, which is not great for the engine. This is particularly common in plastic tanks but can also occur in stainless steel tanks.
Don’t forget your trailer. Ensure registration is up to date and all lights are working. Things like the safety chain, winch, and jockey wheel, should also be checked. And most importantly, ensure the wheel bearings are greased and all tyres are intact and have sufficient air (including the spare).