How to get your boat ready for action after the off-season

How to get your boat ready for action after the off-season

Winter is over. It’s time to whip the cover off your boat, fill it up with fuel and get it ready for action.

To make sure your vessel’s in good shape before you go out on the water, check out our short guide to preparing your boat after the off-season.

Check your safety, communication and navigation gear

If your gear fails when you need it, you could quickly find yourself in a sticky situation. You should always check your safety, navigation and communication equipment after the off-season to make sure that it hasn’t been damaged or degraded by time, weather or lack of use.

The most important things to check include:

  • Lifejackets.
  • Navigation gear like your GPS or depth sounder.
  • Radio equipment.
  • EPIRBs or other emergency beacons.
  • Flares.
  • Backup navigation method.
  • The engine
  • Trailer brakes and other moving parts.

It’s a good idea to test all electronic equipment for at least a few minutes, and to bring spare batteries as they can degrade over time.

Lack of use isn’t good for your boat or trailer.

Inspect your vessel

Take a good look at your vessel before you drop it into the water at the boat ramp. Is the bung screwed in tight and in good condition? Are all batteries charged and in working order? Is there any new damage on the hull? Are the engine and throttle working as they should?

Spending 20 minutes testing the essentials and casting an eye over your boat could save you a lot of stress when you’re out on the water.

Take your trailer for a spin

When you’re not using your trailer you should take it for a short drive at least once a month.  This will get the bearings and other parts moving so that they don’t rust and degrade during the off season.

If you’re planning a trip soon, check that your trailer’s brake lights, brakes and winch are in good working condition.

Spending a little time maintaining your boat will keep it in good condition.

If you have a GRP boat, it’s a good idea to spend 15 minutes washing and waxing it to ensure its marine gel coating will be protected from the elements during spring and summer.

Use a gentle wash and wax product that will leave a protective layer on your boat’s hull after removing any dust and grime that accumulated during the off season.

Treat your boat and trailer to a full service

Your boat and trailer should be serviced at least once a year and it’s always best to get it done before summer when workshops tend to get busy. To make sure your boat and trailer are ready for action, get in touch with the team at Rayglass’s service centre and book in soon.

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