Preparing To Take Your Boat Out This Summer
It is finally summer and you can finally take your boat out on summer vacation. Some may be taking a boat and others might be taking a yacht. Whether you are heading to the jersey shore, looking at enjoying local Lebanon lakes, or plan on taking your watercraft out on the Susquehanna river there are a few things you need to check before you take your boat out on the water.
Paperwork To Have Prepared For Your Watercraft
Like most motorized vehicles, there is paperwork that must be completed for your watercraft.
- Pennsylvania Boat Registration & Tags: Make sure your registration is renewed. Just like a car registration it needs to be renewed regularly. For Pennsylvania, you need to renew your boat every 2 years and your registration will expire on March 31. If your watercraft’s registration expires before March 31, try to wait until April to renew your boat’s registration. You can renew your registration at the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.
- Make Sure your Watercraft Is Insured: Renew the insurance for your watercraft to stay protected. If you want to compare rates contact us at Strickler Insurance.
Cleaning Your Boat Checklist
Below is a checklist of things you should do when cleaning your boat. Doing this every year before taking your watercraft out on the water will make sure you are prepared for whatever may happen while boating this summer.
- Clean & Inspect Boat: After your boat sits for the winter there is regular cleaning that needs to be done. If it sits outside there could be bird poop or snow damage that needs to be repaired. As you clean your boat it is best to inspect it for any damage that could be detrimental to taking it out in the water.
- Clean Storage Space On Watercraft: Let’s be honest, the storage space on your watercraft hasn’t been looked at since you pulled up at the end of last summer and dropped your watercraft where it sat for the past few months. Be sure to clean out the storage compartments, and remove any surprises your children may have left. This is where I typically find tools I’ve been looking for all year.
- Repair & Repaint: After doing a thorough cleaning now is when you can repair and repaint different parts of your boat.
- Make Sure Life Jackets & Life Preservers Are Prepped And Ready: Most people are aware of life jacket laws as well as needing life preservers on your boat. Make sure they are prepped and ready for any emergency.
- Restock Your Watercraft For The Summer: It is time to go shopping! Besides getting the things your boat might need it is always fun to get a new type of raft or waterski board. Make sure you purchase a new fire extinguisher if you need one or any safety gear or first aid kits.
Your Watercraft’s Maintenance
Maintaining your watercraft’s engine as well as electronics is vital to the safe usage of your boat. It can be more difficult than the maintenance of your vehicle because your boat may sit for long stretches of time through the winter. Never go out on the water without doing a thorough inspection of your watercraft.
- Dewinterize Your Watercraft: FaceTime do you winterize your watercraft. Many of these items were probably fixed during the cleaning phase, but making sure your metal parts and electrical systems are prepped for the warm weather is extremely important.
- Check Fluids, Filters & Battery: just like a car engine, it won’t start unless there is a spark and there is fuel. Start your boat and make sure it runs after checking all fluid levels and replacing filters.
- Check Bilge Pump: make sure your bilge pump is operating correctly and replace it if needed.
- Make Sure Boat Is Sealed And Hasn’t Developed Holes: While we mentioned this is important to do when cleaning your boat, we want to stress how important it is to make sure your boat is in sailing shape.
- Mouse Problems: Depending on where you store your watercraft over the winter months, is extremely likely mice have made it home within your boat. Be sure to clean out all niceness from your boat. Make sure you check your wiring if you find a mice nest.
Get Watercraft Insurance At Strickler Insurance
Contact Strickler Insurance for a free insurance quote on your watercraft. We provide watercraft insurance, boat insurance, and yacht insurance in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Contact us today to stay protected as you take your boat out on the water.