As people in Connecticut celebrate the first day of spring it’s time for boat owners to start thinking about the upcoming season. This past winter was particularly rough and those who own sailboats, powerboats and other personal watercraft are very eager to launch their vessels. But before you put your boat in the water you need to carefully inspect the vessel to ensure it is seaworthy.
At Petruzelo Insurance we want every sailor to have an enjoyable summer so we offer some helpful tips about preparing your boat.
Check for Leaks – Nothing will ruin your day on the water more than a hull full of water. Depending on where and how you stored your boat during the winter, there is a chance that sections of the hull and underside suffered cracks. These cracks may be minuscule and barely visible but it will be enough to let water leak in. Carefully inspect the perimeter of your watercraft for leaks, cracks and wear.
Test the Engine – Even if your boat is a sailboat you still need an engine to get out of the marina. Boating experts recommend doing a compression test on the engine. This test can immediately point out problems with your engine if the compression on a cylinder is out of limits. This is also a good time to clean the spark arrestor and the carburetor to remove any traces of the flogging oil. You may also need to replace spark plugs, distributor caps and rotors.
Safety Requirements – Taking to the water without the proper safety and regulatory items is dangerous and can also lead to a stiff fine if caught. Depending on the size and type of boat you own you may be required to have certain safety items on board which can include fire extinguishers, navigation lights, flotation devices, documented vessel paperwork, bailing devices and waste disposal plans.
Review your Insurance – Don’t go anywhere without first checking with your local insurance agent to ensure you have the boat coverage to feel safe on the water. Boat insurance is critical for the safety of your crew and the vessel so take the time to review your policy and make any changes that will give you peace of mind when boating.