Most people would consider a successful boating season to be one where they stayed safe and they got a lot of use out of their boat without having problems. The former comes from being wise and observing best practices when it comes to boat operation. The second comes, most often, from the best practices that come from proper preparation. And you can do that if you know what the right steps are.
Projections for the upcoming boating season (which unofficially starts on Memorial Day) would have to lead one to believe things are looking up for the boating industry. Boat sales are up 5-6% over the same period last year and a record number of boats are expected to be out on the water this year.
We’ve written several posts in years past on the important things you need to do to get your boat ready for boating season. You can get more details in the links below. Here are some high points you need to consider:
Keep Safety In Mind
Make sure you have the required life jackets, flares, spare bulbs and drinking water. Definitely do not forget fire extinguishers – fire on the open water may not happen very often but it’s bad news when it comes. Check the Coast Guard requirements (in our blog post below) for the exact kind of boats that are required to have not only fire extinguishers, but also distress signals. There are different requirements depending on the size of your boat, its layout, and the places/times of day you operate.
It might also be a good idea to get a GPS Personal Locator which will make you easier to find should you encounter trouble out on the open water.
Fuel System Check-Up
You won’t go anywhere if you have fuel system problems. Starting boating seasons means it is a must for you to check all the seals and hoses for cracks and leaks. They get soft and wear out over time, so replace them as needed. Don’t let their time of failure be when you’re out on the open water. And don’t forget a good multifunction fuel system treatment.
Make sure your battery still has a charge and your connections are tight. It’s also recommended to get your electrical system checked out by a professional every couple of years.
Good Operating Procedures Can Spell $$ Saved
Just like driving a car, how you operate your boat can make a big difference in the amount you spend on gas. Marine gas costs more than regular gas, so this potentially could be a big saving. Experts recommend cutting down on your speed by 1-2 knots, which can reduce your fuel usage by up to 50%.
If you liked this post on getting ready for boating season, below are some similar posts we’ve done in the past.