As we welcome summer, it is time to continue preparing your vessel for the water. We
partnered with Chubb Insurance to ensure your boat is in tip-top shape for a successful launch
so that you can experience a safe and enjoyable boating season. Below you will find the second
section of our three-part series on how to properly prep your boat during the launch.
Warmer weather leads to very busy boatyards, often launching several boats an hour. Yard
employees may not take the time to properly check for leaks after the boat goes in the water.
You, or someone else who knows the boat, should be there when she is launched to ensure the
following prep occurs:
Check for Leaks
As soon as the boat is in the water, get below with a bright light and check for leaks. Remember
to check prop shaft and rudder stuffing boxes.
If your sailboat’s mast was removed for winter storage, the yard will usually step it when the
boat is in the water. It’s easy to get the rig ready for sailing if you remembered to measure the
turnbuckles and to inspect all the standing and running rigging last fall. Be sure all turnbuckles
are secured with cotter pins once the rig has been tuned.
Start the Engine
Before you start an engine, be sure the seawater intake seacock is open. As soon as the engine
is running, check for exhaust water flow.
As you move the boat to her mooring, watch the temperature gauge to make sure the engine’s
cooling system is working properly. If an engine won’t start right away, don’t crank it for very
long; water can collect in the muffler and drown the engine.
Now that you’ve done your boat-keeping chores, you can spend a relaxing season enjoying your
boat. Keeping a few tips in mind can help throughout the season and as you prepare for lay-up
later in the year.
• Check the lifejackets, flares and first aid kit to make sure you and your boating companions
will be safe while onboard your vessel. Be sure the horn, running lights, anchor light and
searchlight work properly.
• Check the fire extinguishers and have them serviced or replaced as needed and change the
batteries in the smoke and CO detectors and EPIRB if you have one.
• Make certain the boat’s registration or documentation is current and that all the required
papers are onboard.
• Start a “punch list” of things that will need attention before the end of the season.
• Inventory all equipment, personal items and outfitting onboard and update it during the
• Replace anything that’s missing, damaged or out of date.
We want you to have fun on the water, just as much as we want you and your co-captains to be
safe this summer! Be sure to complete this thorough checklist during the launch of your boat so
that you and those aboard your boat are safe while truly enjoying your time out on the water.
Contact a Penny Insurance Agent today to discuss your marine recreation protection options
and be on the lookout for the final addition to our three-part boating series.
Have a great summer of safe boating!