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5 Boat Checks Before Heading Out on the Water

Home Business Magazine Online

Many people consider a boat to be one of their most valuable investments. In the thrill of smelling the fresh ocean air, many individuals set sail without doing the necessary checks.

An unnoticed problem in a boat can develop into a far more serious issue. To protect yourself and avoid surprises, you should undertake thorough boat checks before you head out on the water.

Wondering which are the things you should look out for? Here they are:

Bilge pumps

The bilge is the vessel’s lowest compartment, often placed at the bottom of the hull, where water might accumulate from different sources, such as leaking, rain, or waves. It removes water and other liquids from the boat’s bilge.

A bilge pump’s job is to recover and pump this water out of the boat, keeping the vessel afloat and preventing damage.

Your bilge pumps are your last line of defense, so ensure they’re in good working order. Most bilge pumps include a manual switch to test their operation, but it’s wise to raise the float switch (if safe) or manually pour water into the bilge to ensure the switch is activated.

Before you set sail, confirm that the bilge is working correctly. One of the best ways to test it is using water.

The advantage of testing the bilge pump with water is that you can check if it can move that water. The pump may function up to the switch, but clogs in the line could be costly in an emergency.

It’s also wise to have a backup bilge pump. Float switches sometimes fail, so having backups means you’ll have more time to get to a manual switch if you start taking on water.


You may aim to go out solely during the day, but a sudden change in weather or another difficulty may force you to navigate at night. As a result, you must check your lights before embarking on a cruise.

You should be aware that boat lights are legally necessary. Lights are required to let other boats see your boat on the water. The lights must be seen from 2 miles away.

During the inspection you should ensure that the boat has:

Bow Navigation Light: A light in the bow (front) of the boat indicates the direction in which your boat is moving.

Stern Navigation Light: A light located at the stern (rear) of a ship that indicates the direction the boat is going.

Masthead Navigation Lights: These are installed on top of any tall structure, together with an anchor light.

Don’t just look at the main navigational lights. Also, check the onboard lights to navigate your boat in the dark.

If any of the lights are not working or appear to be faulty, you should investigate further. This could entail inspecting the wiring, connections, and lights or enlisting the help of a professional boat technician or electrician to remedy the issue.

If you need to replace a part or the entire lighting system, get the part from a reputable store such as Teak Isle.


Many people assume that their steering will work, but a quick check of your system could save you a lot of stress later on.

Begin by visually inspecting the steering system of the boat. Examine the system for signs of deterioration, such as leaks, loose connections, or worn-out components.

While at it, examine the steering wheel cables, hydraulic hoses (if applicable), and other essential elements.

Free up any rusty steering parts with proper grease, or de-grease and reapply if sections of your steering have become gummed up with debris.

You should visit a competent boat mechanic or technician if you find any problems with the boat’s steering system during the inspection or testing process. Don’t assume the problem is minor and won’t be much of a problem.

When you take your boat to a mechanic, ensure that they do a complete examination, diagnose the problem, and make any necessary repairs or adjustments to assure your boat’s safety.


Begin by looking for evidence of corrosion, loose connections, or damage to the battery terminals and wires. Clean the terminals with a battery terminal cleaner or a solution of baking soda and water.

You should measure the voltage of the boat batteries with a multimeter or voltmeter. Set the meter to DC voltage and connect the positive (red) probe to the battery’s positive terminal and the negative (black) probe to the battery’s negative terminal.

A completely charged battery should have a voltage measurement between 12.6 and 12.8 volts.

If the measurement is substantially lower than 12 volts, the battery is likely depleted and has to be charged or replaced.

You also should check the electrolyte levels in flooded lead-acid batteries. Check that the plates are completely coated with electrolyte solution and, if necessary, add distilled water. Take care not to overfill.

Remember that it is critical to keep the batteries of your vessel charged and properly stored when not in use. If you believe your boat battery is not working properly or fails any of the above tests, consider replacing it to guarantee that your boat’s electrical systems have reliable power.

Safety gear

You need to ensure that you are safe when you are out fishing. The only way to make this possible is always to have safety gear on.

Your life jacket is the most critical safety equipment on your boat. Before you set out on the water, be sure that each passenger wears a life jacket that fits properly and is comfortable. A decent life jacket should include the following features:

Float: This may seem obvious, but it is critical; a life jacket cannot do its job unless it keeps you afloat.

Be able to put on rapidly: In an emergency, you may not have much time or energy; Practice swiftly putting on your life jacket in case of an emergency.

Fit adequately around your chest: If your life jacket doesn’t fit, it’s useless; don’t try to improvise with one that’s too big or too little; instead, buy one that fits nicely.

The post 5 Boat Checks Before Heading Out on the Water appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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