How to get your boat ready for the summer: a practical guide
After winterizing your boat to protect it from the weather, it is high time to prepare your boat to enjoy the beautiful season. A good preparation of the boat for the summer not only allows you to enjoy your trips at sea but also to avoid the risk of failure and premature wear of certain elements on board. Here is our little guide to help you prepare your boat for the summer!
Clean the boat properly
A good preparation of the boat always starts with a thorough boat cleaning. Everything must be taken care of : the deck, the portholes, the hull, the seats, the floor, the water tanks, the black water tanks … etc. A good cleaning allows you first to check the condition of the elements of the boat and in particular check the presence of cracks on the parts supporting a significant effort. We advise you to use products that are not too aggressive and especially adapted to boating.
Check the condition of the boat’s safety equipment
Before going out to sea, it is mandatory to have all the necessary safety equipment. Of course, the list of mandatory equipment varies according to the size of the boat and the navigation area and the flag you are flying, but it is always recommended to have the maximum of equipment. Check the condition of the distress flares and extinguishers and their expiry date. Also, be sure to have a complete primary care kit, horn, lifejackets, manual bilge pump, individual buoyancy equipment (lifejackets), and life rafts.
Please refer to our article : 10 boat safety equipment checks to be done
Check the water supply system and the wastewater treatment system
Check the condition of the water supply system including tanks, pump and piping. Make sure there are no leaks and that the system is working properly. Also, check the condition of the wastewater treatment system and make sure it is watertight and has no problems.
Ensure the proper functioning of electrical and electronic systems
The batteries provide the electrical energy necessary for the operation of all electrical and electronic devices. They therefore deserve special attention. After a visual inspection of the outside, perform a voltage test directly on the terminals and make sure that the batteries are working properly and that they hold the charge. Also check the condition of the flight instruments including the navigation system and possibly the VHF system as well as the lighting system.
Check the condition of the engine and the mechanical parts
After a long stop, the engine must be carefully checked by a specialist. Depending on the type and condition of the engine installed on the boat, it would be necessary to perform some maintenance operations such as changing oil, replacing filters and spark plugs, and antifreeze draining. In addition, it is essential to check the belt tension and the condition of the mechanical elements including the transmission system and the propeller.
Prepare the hull / Bottom
After thorough cleaning, check the condition of the hull and make sure it is watertight and free of defects. If necessary, scrape the hull (immersed part of the hull or bright objects), seal the holes with epoxy putty and then apply a new antifouling paint (anti-fouling) to prevent aquatic organisms to attach to the submerged parts of the boat.
It is also an opportunity to polish the hull and all stainless steel elements. If you want additional protection then ceramic protection is an excellent solution.
Prepare the top side of the boat
The top side represent all parts above the deck line. They must be well cleaned and checked before every boat trip. Check the condition of the cabin and balconies. Make sure there are no leaks in the deck and the fixed portholes. If it is a sailboat, check the condition of the mast, the rigging, the headline, and the sails. Also check the spars, cleats, winches and the mooring line. Then reassemble the sails and make sure that all deck hardware is working properly.
Preparing your boat for the summer: what to remember
The preparation of the boat for the summer requires special attention. It not only ensures the proper functioning of the elements on board but also ensures the safety of passengers.
It is for this reason that this task must be entrusted to a boat maintenance company. Preparing a boat for the summer is also an opportunity to carry out a general control of all the elements including the engine, the other mechanical parts, the electrical installation, the electronic devices, the system of water supply, and the wastewater treatment system.