Boating season is almost underway and if your boat was in lay-up over the winter season, there are a few tips to remember before taking it out on the water. We’ve put together some helpful tips to ensure that your vessel is ready, as well as some common maintenance errors to avoid.
According to Chubb, a leading premier insurer for watercrafts, here are some of the most common maintenance errors for boatowners:
- Incorrect battery installations
- Lack of smoke detectors on boats over 26’ in length with accommodation spaces for sleeping
- Lack of carbon monoxide detectors on gasoline powered boats with berths
- Incorrect portable fire extinguisher location, improper number of fire extinguishers, improperly maintained
- Lack of vapor detectors on gasoline powered boats
- Engine, generator and exhaust system problems; connections not double-clamped
- Unsatisfactory condition of life jackets/PFDs and improper storage
- Improper use of portable electric heaters
- Lack of throwable device (ring, horseshoe, MOB, etc.) with proper line
- Poor installations of bilge blower, or none installed on gasoline powered boats
- Loose or unsupported electrical wires throughout the boat
- Automatic bilge pump problems
- No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters for 110-volt AC outlets in galleys, heads, machinery spaces and weather decks
- Federally required “Discharge of trash/oil” placards not posted.
1. Check the safety equipment on board. Begin by checking life jackets, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and CO detectors to be sure that they are functional and available.
2. Make sure your registration is current and keep a copy of your insurance policy on board. Many boat insurance policies have lay-up periods. Be careful that you are not operating your boat during the lay-up period. If you plan to, work with a trusted insurance advisor ahead of time to be sure your coverage is active and current.
3. Perform an interior and exterior inspection of the boat. Make sure that your boat is inspected: inspect the bottom, transducers and running gear, rudders and steering, outdrive hints, and plugs. You should also make sure that the engines and batteries are functioning properly, bilge pumps and high water alarms are working, and clamps and hoses are free of rust and in good shape.
Are you planning on taking your boat out soon and have questions on how to make sure your boat is in tip-top shape? Contact an insurance advisor at Sterling Coverage. We specialize in watercraft insurance for yachts, luxury boats, and mega-yachts and can help ensure that you are properly prepared for boating season.