What should I do before launching my boat?
March 24, 2022 by PEMCO Insurance
Don’t be “that boater” who backs up the launch with a motor that won’t start or, worse, breaks down once it’s out on the water and needs rescue. Enjoy a successful first launch of the season with 15 safety checks to make sure your boat and trailer are ready to go.
On the boat, make sure the:
- Engine is tuned, including an oil and filter change, and will start at the boat launch (to check, use a garden hose and trailer-fire the motor before leaving home).
- Steering and shift linkage are lubricated.
- Coolant level is full and contains the proper mixture for freshwater-cooled motors.
- Ignition, wiring and electronic equipment work as expected.
- Exhaust system is leak-free, particularly if you have an enclosed cabin.
- Navigation lights work, even if you don’t plan to boat after dark.
- Potable water system is flushed.
- Drain and petcocks are secure.
On the trailer, check that the:
- Tie-down straps and winch rope show no signs of rot or fraying.
- Winch and wheel bearings are lubricated.
- Safety chains are the right length without having to twist to shorten them.
- Tire pressure is good, including the spare.
- Brake and running lights work.
- License tabs are current.
- Emergency brake on your tow vehicle will hold at the boat ramp.
Also, check that your safety equipment is ready for another season. That means you have a well-fitted life jacket (free of rips or rusty snaps) for everyone on board, a fully charged fire extinguisher and a working smoke and carbon-monoxide detector on board.
Ready for more safe-boating tips? Click BLOG above and search “safe boating.”
Share on social media