Depending on where you live, you may have had your boat stored, perhaps even in dry dock, over the wintertime. If you want to enjoy your boat all summer, you should spend some time now to get it ready for the water. Boat maintenance can include both safety checks and mechanical systems, and without devoting time to take care of upkeep, you could find yourself stranded on the water. These tips can help you get your boat seaworthy for a summer filled with fun on the water.
How To Ensure Your Boat Battery Is Ready for a Day on the Water
Besides the motor, the battery is one of the most important systems that provide power to your boat. Without a functioning battery that holds a charge, you may not be able to operate the GPS, radio, or radar while away from the dock. Just as you should know how to jump start a car, you should also know to clean a marine battery to maximize its performance and keep it running for as long as you can. Make sure it can hold a charge before you leave the shore so that you do not get stranded later in the day.
Picking the Best Battery for Your Boat
How do you know if your boat battery is the right one for your needs? You have more options than you may realize, so it helps to know more about what a marine battery can do to narrow down your choices. The two main types are cranking or starting batteries, which are similar to what you have in your car, and deep-cycle batteries, which work best for slower use of energy. Remember that you most likely do not operate your boat as often or for as long as you drive your car, so the upkeep for your boat battery may have different requirements, especially with the battery connections.
Cleaning and Organizing the Rest of Your Gear
Any vehicle that sits in storage over the cooler months may need some care before the boating season begins. Besides investing in the best batteries for boats, you should also clean and test your other operating systems. A marine engine may need a tune-up to top off fluids or replace hoses, and the safety equipment, from lights to horns, should also be tested before leaving the dock.
In fact, review all the safety checks that are looked at during an inspection. Have a current fire extinguisher and flares, the correct number of personal floatation devices for each person on the boat, and a boating license and registration, as required in your area. Any agency responsible for public water safety may board and inspect your boat to ensure you are adhering to government regulations, and you do not want to get fined because you have forgotten your registration any more than you would want to use free VIN lookup to verify that the car you drive belongs to you.
Think about boat preparation this way: if the effort keeps your boat in good working condition, you can enjoy it throughout the season. Doesn’t that sound better than watching other people’s boats on the water while you are stuck on dry land?