When owning a boat it is extremely important to know and follow the basic boatingsafety guidelines. Being aware and familiar with these safety procedures will allow for a much safer, organized day on the water.
Before attempting any boating expedition it is important that you are weather wise and conscious. Weather can change quickly and with not much warning. It is best to watch the weather stations and listen to local weather updates before taking your boat out. Once on the water it is necessary to watch the weather conditions and should you see darkening clouds or changes in wind it is best to go in.
Before leaving the harbor or boarding any passengers on your boat it is important to have a pre established Pre-departure checklist. Once you have followed through with the checklist it is safe to go out. This checklist will help to pinpoint any damages, concerns or safety risks before setting out onto the water.
Once you are out cruising about make sure to always be aware of your surroundings. Watch for people swimming, large vessels, buoy’s etc. Avoid any consumption of alcoholic beverages while you are navigating your boat or in control of driving it.
Life jackets are meant for reason, they will help to save your life should your boat ever capsize etc. Make sure each passenger is wearing one, especially children and that they are being worn properly.
Have a designated Skipper. This person should be someone that knows how to handle and operate your boat just as you do. In case there is an accident or something should happen to the captain, the skipper can take control and get everyone back to shore safely.
Last but not least devise a float plan and give it to a family member, friend or staff at the marina where you take off from. A good float plan should consist of
Name, Address, and Phone number of the trip leader
Name & Phone numbers of all passengers
Boat type and copy of registration
List of types of communication & signal equipment on board
Although these safety precautions may seem a bt extensive, the water can be a dangerous place and so can operating a boat. Having simple safety measures and precautions put in place an implemented can save lives in the time of distress or an accident.
Owning a boat is a great adventure in itself. Being able to get out on the water and enjoy the air and sunshine while drifting in the sea, or lake for that matter is one of the best feelings in life. However, taking care of your boat and maintaining it properly will keep it safe and in good condition for a lot longer. There are many things you can do when it comes to maintaining your boat. These 5 boat maintenance tips are sure to be the most important when keeping your bought in tact and lengthening its life.
Wash your boat regularly, especially when in salt water. Anytime you take your boat out in salt water it should be thoroughly rinsed with fresh water when you are done. Salt water when left on your boat will cause fasteners, hardware, and metal to corrode. When left on it will also damage your gel coat which helps to protect your boat against weathering etc.
Check/remove propeller regularly especially during season. If you have an stern or out board type boat it is important to check the propeller as part of your pre-launch routine. It is also important during fishing season to use a deep well socket to remove the propeller completely. This way you can check for ny debris or old fishing line that may be tangled up within.
Inspect the propeller while you have it removed. Making sure the propeller is free of nicks and dents can help you save on fuel efficiency. Even the smallest dent in your propeller can cause a 10% decrease in your boat’s performance which in turns causes more fuel to be used.
Oil Changes….Just like any automobile boats need oil changes too. Different style/types of boats require different period for oil changes. A basic rule of thumb for most boats is to plan to do an oil change for every 100 hours the boat has been in operation or at least once per year.
Keep the Hull clean! Keeping the Hull of your boat clean from any algae or other type of water scum will help with better fuel efficiency. Less fuel put out is also better for the waters our boats are in.
These are just a few good maintenance practices you can get in the habit of to keep your boat clean and in good running condition. These simple maintenance tips can also help you save a lot of fuel and money!
There is nothing quite like purchasing a brand new boat. You love everything about your new vessel, the smell, the look, and the way onlookers admire it. However, the second you purchase it, you immediately begin to think of ways to preserve it. From the cabin to the hull, you want everything to stay in pristine condition. Although regular maintenance and cleaning will help to keep your boat looking new, there are other ways to prevent damage. Today we want to cover something that has been growing in popularity over the years, vinyl hull wraps. Boat owners have been vinyl wrapping their boats for decades to add graphics, change the colors and market a product or business. However more recently boat owners have opted for a hull wrap to protect the hull of their boat from corrosion, stains, and other unsightly damage that can occur on the hull of the boat. Hull vinyl films can come in a any color, so they can change the color or your vessel, or hide any current discoloration. Additionally they can be clear and unnoticeable to maintain the factory look of your boat. Here are some examples from boatwraps-florida.com.
There are a lot of advantages to vinyl wrapping your boat. In addition to preventing corrosion, and unsightly damages caused by normal wear and tear, vinyl wraps also offer a great alternative to paint. From cost, to longevity, and to the customization options, vinyl wraps are typically a better investment than paint. Vinyl handles the elements a lot better than paint. From salt to sun, vinyl will maintain it’s color far longer than paint. Additionally if you take preventative action and get a hull wrap on your new boat, it helps you preserve the factory paint job of your vessel and helps to maintain it’s value. Preserving the factory paint job is one of the biggest reasons many yacht owners are opting for a hull wrap. However the customization is another big draw for yacht owners. From those who simply want a unique color or effect that is not available with paint, to those who want a stand out graphic to set them apart or brand their vessel with a name or design. All in all vinyl hull wraps are more than protection, they are fun and will make your boat personal to you.
Although worn gel coats seem inevitable and just standard wear and tear for your watercraft, the truth of the matter is it’s not. Gel coats can be preserved and even rehabilitated in many circumstances. Some people wear their worn gel coats like a badge of honor, as representation of their time at sea, but many owners seek to preserve the brand new look and feel of their vessel. If you group yourself with the latter then read on.
Gelcoats, which are what give boats their veneer are applied atop the highly polished mold at the beginning of the fiberglass layup process. They are what makes a boat shine in the water, and also help to protect the integrity of your boats exterior over the years. Through time these gel coats become more porous and harder to clean, but not impossible.
As I’m sure you know, the best way to get rid of stains on your boats gelcoat is to prevent them in the first place. A good wax or polish and regular wash downs will help to prevent a large majority of stains from occurring. Although waxing will help to create a barrier between the elements and your gelcoat it will not prevent staining entirely. So be prepared to do routine wash downs with a gentle boat cleaner to remove stains that are beginning to occur. If done regularly the cleaner and a little elbow grease should remove any build up fairly easily.
When dealing with more stubborn stains you will need something a bit stronger. When it comes to gel coat stains there are two types of stains, organic and mineral. Organic stains are the result of spilled food and drinks, bird droppings, plant matter and things of that nature. These types of stains are typically easy to clean because they are water soluble and little soap and water will typically do the trick. More stubborn mineral stains will require a chemical agent such as acid or a chelating agent. Acid works to dissolve the stains while a chelating agent will bond to the stain and suspend it for easy removal. Both require little to no scrubbing since they are chemical based. Rust stains and water line stains are the two most common mineral stains that require chemical solutions like we mentioned.
While gelcoats can be repaired, prevention is still the best route. Make sure to routinely wax your hull and do regular wash downs to prevent build up. Mineral damage from the waterline after long voyages are annoying, but always know that there is is a solution.