7. Make sure smoke, fume, carbon
monoxide and bilge alarms are
8. Fenders should be inflated and
checked for leaks.
9. Check your insurance against your
summer plans to be sure you are
properly covered. Most marinas
now require proof of insurance
and a minimum amount of
Clean and inspect props and shafts for dings, pitting and distortion. This cruiser has a strut
plus a whip strut for the long shaft. Even a slight bend will set up damaging vibration.
1. If the boat has one, make sure the
stern drain plug is installed. Perhaps
this should be in large red letters. I
have seen too many boats end up
half-swamped for the lack of this
seemingly obvious item.
2. As soon as you’re afloat check below
for any signs of leaking at thru-hulls,
Is this prop going to perform properly this summer? Possible bends and ragged edges will result
in a performance and economy loss. It can be checked, trued up and repaired inexpensively.
Much of what is listed above can and
should be done at haul-out so proper
repairs can be made. Boat yards are usually overwhelmed with work in spring so
even simple repairs may cause serious
delay and expense.
As boats age and get worked on, nuts get rounded off and fittings come loose. This fuel
fitting was slowly dripping gasoline into the bilge. It should be replaced.
LISTS ARE GOOD
Some years ago one the large English
Channel ferries came to grief because she
headed to sea and someone forgot to
close the huge bow door! 193 people
died. So it’s not just about “senior
moments”, anyone can overlook the
obvious. A good idea is to develop a
checklist for the all various operations of
your boat. Prelaunch, launch, start-up,
cruise, etc. These can be kept brief and on
handy cards: a pre-startup list by the
helm for example. It will make for a
much more relaxing summer on the
water and avoid some potentially embarrassing and expensive moments.