When spring is in the air, one thing is on boaters’ minds: When are we going to splash our watercraft? After being bundled up for the winter, your vessel needs a little attention as you remove the shrink wrapping or heavy winter cover.
First, make sure the cover is clear of any debris. You don’t want to be removing the cover and get hit in the head with anything. You also want to make sure you’re not dragging the cover over any sensitive surfaces. You don’t want to pull off any GPS sensors, antennas or brackets attached to the vessel that could cause additional damage.
Look at your zincs or anodes and make sure they are in good condition and will properly perform their function in preventing corrosion and damage.
After the cover is off, examine your boat closely to ensure it is clean and free of debris. Especially notice areas where water is permitted to flow into or away from the vessel, such as scuppers or seacocks. Small animals might have crawled into these tiny spaces seeking shelter from the cold and left remnants of their visit that could block water flow.
Once you’re in the vessel, check in and around the engine compartment, looking for cracked hoses, frayed electrical wires or signs of damage from animals.
Check your battery cables, too, making sure they’re in good condition and that the ends are clear of any corrosion. Again, watch for chew marks or frayed wires. You might also need to hook your batteries up to a charger since they were sitting all winter not being used. They’ll be charged and ready to go when you want to put the vessel in the water.
If you have a cabin on your vessel, this is a good time to open it up and air it out. Moisture collects even in cold weather. Check for any potential mold and make sure all surfaces are clean.
Before putting your vessel in the water, you’ll want to flush out your plumbing systems if you have a head or galley in your vessel. You may even want to give it a once-over cleaning before you start to use your vessel.
Once you’re comfortable with all your preseason boat prep, you’re ready to launch for the season, and most of all DON’T FORGET TO PUT IN THE PLUG.
Have a great and safe boating season.
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent insurance agent for coverage advice and policy service.