Spring Boat Maintenance Tips

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For more information on adding insurance for your vessel to your current homeowners, auto or renter’s insurance policy, contact your independent agent today!

Spring is the time to get your boat ready for the season! Get those chores out of the way so you are ready to float into summer, instead of stumble!

As you prepped your boat for this past winter, you likely spent hours checking off every conceivable chore to make sure it was ready come spring. Or, maybe, like a lot of people, you did just enough to make sure the boat wouldn’t be damaged in storage but left a few tasks for spring.

Either way, you’re in the right place! Marine insurance claims files are full of what can happen when boaters, anxious to get out on the open water, forget to do some of the things they didn’t have time to do last winter. Here are a few things you’ll want to check before launching.

Check for deteriorated anodes.

Anodes can disintergrate over time, and can give a good indication of what would happen to vital underwater machinery if the anodes weren’t there. If they’re about half gone, replace them. Be sure to check the other metal underwater surfaces, too, to ensure they didn’t also suffer from galvanic corrosion such as outboards and sterndrives.

If you recently replaces these, anodes disappearing may indicate a problem with the boat’s electrical system!

Inspect props.

Look for dings, pitting and distortion that can create excessive vibration that can loosen everything keeping the boat intact. Make sure all pins are secure!

Preferred Mutual’s insurance claims files note instances of on-water towing because props fell off!

Inspect the hull for blisters and stress cracks.

Blisters are easier to see just after haulout, but if you see large blisters, be sure to bring it into a boat repair shop. Those problems may need to be addressed by a marine surveyor or repairer!

Check lower-unit lube.

If you didn’t drain and fill the lower unit lube before winter, be sure to check the level and condition it is in now. Milk-chocolate looking oil indicates a bad seal that has allowed water in!

Check bilge pump operation.

The best way to check the entire system is to put some water in the bilge so you can make sure the switch actuates and the pump begins getting the water out. If your boat came through winter with water already there, find the leaks and fix them! Bilge pumps are designed to remove nuisance water – not to save a sinking boat!

And check the fuel and electrical systems!

Inspect all fuel lines, including fill and vent hoses, for indications of softness or cracking. Any that are suspect should be replaced with a United States Coast Guard-approved fuel hose. Fuel fittings are also another source of dangerous leaks.

Be sure to clean and tighten electrical connections, especially both ends of battery cables, too!

Inspect your safety gear.

Check all fire extinguisher gauges for fullness and expiration dates. If they are expired, they must be replaced immediately. Take a careful look at where they are mounted, too. Are they easy to get to incase of an emergency? Keep an updated first aid kit aboard, too!

Enjoy smooth sailing with superior coverage.

Take to the open waters with confidence, knowing you have insurance coverage that includes personal liability, medical payments, uninsured boaters and miscellaneous property coverage for hulls, boat equipment and accessories, as well as personal property brought onto your boat.

For more information on adding insurance for your vessel to your current homeowners, auto or renter’s insurance policy, contact your independent agent today!

This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not legal advice and/or an authoritative guide.

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