Regularly maintaining your boat will extend its life and keep you and your passengers safe and happy. Preventative maintenance is a must to ensure that your boat is ready and safe for use.
Any system that fails and causes a disruption of a boating voyage could not only reduce the enjoyment of the trip but could also place the vessel and people onboard in danger or cause serious injury. Examples include: failure of a through-hull fitting can cause swamping; disruption of the electrical system can cause loss of electronic navigation and mechanical propulsion or steering; fuel system leakage can result in a fire or explosion; an inoperable engine cut-off device may prevent the vessel from re-starting.
Preventative maintenance is vessel type-specific (i.e., hull integrity, engines, hoses, gauges, thru-hulls, lines, rigging, lighting, sound producing devices, other safety equipment, and gear), here are some some key items to inspect:
Note: If using a trailer, check hitch connections, tires, wheel bearings/axles, lighting, etc.
Before taking the boat offshore, boaters should ensure that the engine is in good working order to reduce the likelihood of a breakdown or hazards on the water. The appliances and systems installed on board vessels should be designed to withstand marine conditions and be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.