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Important Recommendations for Boating Season

Summer is upon us which means it’s time to prepare for boating season! If your boat was in lay-up over the winter, you’ll need to take care of a few things before it’s ready to go. Penny Insurance Agency partnered with Chubb Recreational Marine Insurance, to help you make sure your vessel is ready for a successful launch and you can enjoy a safe and relaxing season. Check out the first section of our three-part series below!

As a boat owner, you’re responsible for knowing the condition of your boat and its equipment.

Bringing a vessel out of lay-up gives you a great opportunity to perform a thorough inspection before boating season begins. Before you launch your boat, be sure to review manuals, instruction sheets and other documents for details about the vessel and onboard systems, proper operation and maintenance, as well as contact information for manufacturers and suppliers in case you have questions or need parts.

Before the Launch

Outside the Boat

Rule number one: While working on the hull, always let the yard employees move stands and blocking. If you’re using a ladder to get onboard, don’t forget to secure the top of the ladder to a stanchion, or a cleat on deck.

Inspect the Bottom

  • Check all through-hull fittings and scrape inside their openings.
  • Be sure all seawater intakes are clear of obstructions.

Through-Hulls and Zincs

  • Check all the through-hulls above the waterline.
  • Replace any questionable through-hulls with marine-grade bronze or fiber-reinforced plastic.
  • Remove any sacrificial zinc anodes prior to painting.
  • Install fresh zinc anodes if the old ones are half depleted.

Transducers and Running Gear

  • Inspect underwater transducers for depth sounders, fish finders and knot meters.
  • Clean and free the faces of depth transducers of marine growth.
  • Check propellers for damage and straightness.
  • Put a light coat of waterproof grease on the shaft taper and key when installing the serviced prop.
  • Check shaft bearings for wear.
  • Check the rudders by trying to move the bottom of the rudder from side to side, and up and down.
  • Inspect swim step supports, trim tabs, thruster grates and boarding ladders.
  • Be sure the ladder deploys properly if it telescopes and is mounted under the swim step

Outdrive Hints

  • Inspect the outdrives’ flexible rubber bellows carefully.
  • Run your finger along the edge of the skeg at the very bottom of the drive and if you find any oil, a seal may need to be replaced.
  • Change the oil in the drive.

Inside the Boat

  • Make sure all seacocks operate smoothly and their handles are in good condition.
  • Clean and brighten the through-hulls and bonding wire connections.
  • Check the bonding connection to the sacrificial zinc.
  • Inspect seawater intake strainers on engines, generators, air conditioner pumps and any other equipment that requires them.
  • Make certain drain plugs are secure and that gaskets and washers are in good shape.
  • Inspect the seawater intake systems’ vented loop.

Hoses and Clamps

  • Inspect the hose clamps and the hoses attached to all the seacocks and through-hulls.
  • Examine all stuffing box hoses, exhaust hoses and fill hoses from the decks to the tanks.
  • Replace any soft hoses that show signs of bulging, cracking or damage.

Engines and Generators

  • Check and replace your engine and generators’ sacrificial zinc anodes, if necessary.
  • Check all the V-belts on the engines.
  • Pull out the knotmeter transducer and inspect the O-rings.
  • Apply a light coat of waterproof grease to the O-rings and be sure the transducer tube is clean before re-inserting the transducer.
  • Put the water-lift exhaust muffler on a generate or sailboat engine’s drain plug back in place.
  • Inspect all mufflers for signs of rust or peeling paint.

Steering Gear

  • Operate the steering gear lock-to-lock.

Batteries

  • Clean your batteries’ terminals and cable clamps before you connect them.

Completing this thorough check list before launching your boat for the summer will give you and those aboard peace of mind and allow you to truly enjoy your time out on the water. Contact a Penny Insurance Agent today to discuss your marine recreation protection options.