When most people think about boating, they imagine the wind blowing in their face, a cold beverage in their hand, and their friends swimming or playing on a beach as the sun sets on a deserted island.
Then you figure out how complex a boat is, and the maintenance that is needed to keep it running smoothly. They key to making it far enough to enjoy that deserted beach is properly maintaining your boat. Do not be afraid by having to perform maintenance on your ship, with a little love and care, your boat will not give you any headaches.
Florida is an excellent destination for boaters, as the boating season lasts year round. If you are interested in boating in the State, the following tips will help you to keep your boat in ship shape!
Florida State Requirements
The first place to start is safety. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires that all boat carry specific safety equipment. Based upon the federal requirements published by the U.S. Coast Guard, this list can vary in detail depending upon the size:
- Personal flotation devices
- Fire extinguisher
- Visual distress signal
- Sound producing device
- Backwater flame control
- Vessel lighting
The first step should always to ensure compliance with these minimum standards for safety equipment. The Boat and Motor Superstores can help you to make sure that you have the correct safety equipment for your boat.
Of course, the Fish and Wildlife Commission won’t be out on your boat – you, and your friends and family will be. Maintaining your boat is about more than just fulfilling the minimum requirements if you want to avoid the disaster that the emergency equipment is for.
There are many additional items to keep track of on your boat, and they should be checked regularly, especially when you are bringing your boat out of seasonal storage. This list is a good place to start, though not all of the items will apply to your specific boat:
- Clean the hull, deck and topsides. Use a mild detergent.
- Clear drains and scuppers.
- Add a coat of wax.
- Polish all metal surfaces.
- Clean all windows and hatches.
- Clean the interior, including the bilges.
- Replace wiper blades as needed.
- Check the hull for scratches, blisters or other signs of damage. Refinish if necessary.
- Check the propeller, including the shaft, strut and cutlass bearing.
- Check the rudder and its fittings.
- Check the deck, windows and lights for leaks.
- Make sure your dinghy or life raft is in good working order.
- Be sure that bilge pumps are operational.
- Be sure that the inboard engine is in good condition.
- Flush water system and make sure the head functions properly.
- Ensure proper functioning of galley equipment.
- Inspect outboard motor and prop.
- Check any sails, mast and rigging.
Float Plan and Checklist
Each time you get ready to take your boat out on the water, you will want to verify that everything is in proper order. Be sure to visit the Boat and Motor Superstores in Palm Harbor, FL to make sure that you have everything that you need to keep you boat in peak operational condition!
This advice should give you a solid start on properly maintaining your boat. Be sure to visit the Boat and Motor Superstores to make sure that you have everything that you need to keep your boat in peak operational condition! Call us or check out our website.