Prepping A Boat For A Trip

August 6, 2018

If you have a boat or you have rented one for a holiday or an outing, you must be eager to go out to sea and relax and enjoy the views.

However, before you actually depart, you need to be sure that your boat is safe and fully operational. If you do not know how to do that, you best hire a professional, but it is recommended that you never leave the port without these pre-trip checks. Oh, and never leave without at least the basic spare parts onboard.

Experts at Propulsion Controls Engineering share some of the most important checks you will need to do in order to maintain your boat and keep yourself safe at sea:

Check Your Fuel Levels

Even though it may sound stupid, this is among the top problems the Coast Guard encounter when rescuing ships and boats. Whether it is carelessness or forgetfulness, people run out of fuel before they are able to return to shore.

Calculate your boat’s fuel consumption, estimate the distances you are expecting to cross and make sure that you have enough of it to return. Oh, and bring a little extra; you never know if something is going to interfere with your plan, so be prepared for that.

Check the Bilge Pump

Some boat owners do not even know where the bilge pump is or what it looks like. However, if there is an accident, you will be relying on it to remove any water from your bilge.

There are two ways to activate the pump. At the helm, there is a switch which should turn on the pump remotely. Alternatively, there is a manual switch on the pump. Making sure that both work is important for your boat’s safety.

Check the Electronics

Your boat relies on a lot of electrical appliances, like the radio, the compass, and probably the GPS system as well.

When the boat engine is running, you should be getting plenty of electricity. However, when it is off, your electric generator or an electric motor needs to take over.

However, it is not just the generator that needs attention, all of the lights, the radio, and the appliances need to be in working condition before you set of. Check each of them individually, and then in groups, simulating the actual way you would use the devices.

Check the Engine

Speaking of your engine, no matter if it is a diesel or a petrol one, you need to make sure that it runs well and that it does not overheat.

The most common issue with boat engines is the cooling system. This system typically uses the salt water from the surroundings, which can be very corrosive and damage the inner workings of the system.

When checking your engine, first inspect it while turned off to see whether there are any leaks, followed by an inspection when the engine is turned on.

Ensure That There Are Plenty of Provisions Aboard

The great thing about boats is the feeling of independence and freedom they give you. You can go anywhere and stay there for a while.

However, this independence also comes with some drawbacks. Namely, you need to take all of the provisions you need with you. Food is the easier part, as you can store a lot of food on a relatively small space, but once you run out of fresh water, you will need to return to shore to resupply.

Taking a boat for a holiday or even just a weekend is a great way to spend your free time, but even then you must not forget to think about your safety and convenience.

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