As the boating season approaches, you're probably thinking about getting your boat onto the water as fast as possible. But before you rush off to the nearest boat launch, make sure your vessel is prepared for the boating season with these tips..
It's happened to many of us. You dip your trailer in the water, float the boat, and the engine won't turn over. Bummer. Don't end up in the water with nowhere to go - make sure you take care of these simple boat maintenance tasks before the boating season begins.
And if it's been a while since you've been on the water, check out these boating etiquette tips for a refresher on courteous boating.
Make sure you give yourself time to find and fix any mechanical problems before the season starts. As early as possible, you'll want to thoroughly inspect your boat's electrical & fuel systems, belts, cables, hoses, propellers and hull. Repair and/or replace any worn items you find and check your fluids, filling them as necessary.
If you're handy, you can do most of this preparation yourself - multiple online resources offer helpful advice and checklists. Just be sure to consult your owner's manual first so you know what you're in for.
Of course you can just turn your boat over to a qualified service professional for the dirty work, but be sure to do it well in advance of your first planned trip. As you might expect, boat servicers get pretty busy this time of year.
Now's a good time to make sure your boat has the regulatory mandated items you'll need, including personal floatation devices, visual distress signals, fire extinguishers, sound-producing devices, and navigation lights. Make sure they're all in working order and that you have everything required by law - do a quick check with your state's Department of Natural Resources to ensure you're in full compliance.
Be sure you're prepared for an emergency. If you don't already have a boat safety kit we can help you make one. If you do have one, verify that the necessary contents are present and check any expiration dates.
Nobody likes a dirty boat, so give your vessel a good washing and a coat of wax before the boating season takes a toll on your hull. Keep in mind, though, that some cleaning products aren't waterlife-friendly, so check out our article on keeping your boat green and being an environmentally conscious boater.
Keeping your boat on its trailer in your driveway or backyard is one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to store a boat - but be sure you check for any city or neighborhood restrictions first. In addition to being right there to hook up to your vehicle, storing your boat at home also allows you to venture out onto other bodies of water with ease. Check out even more tips on storing your boat at home and simple ways to keep your boat healthy.
If you'd prefer, you can also rent or purchase a boat slip at a marina. This is a convenient option for people who plan to spend a lot of time on the water. Many facilities offer docks with electricity, bathrooms, showers, and even boat service - plus with other boat slip owners around, you may find new friends to boat and cook out with.
So, you're ready to hit the water - but how's your boat insurance? Don't make this boating season more expensive than it has to be. Allstate offers protection for your personal watercraft, starting at just $24 a month.
You may be eligible for a discount if you've taken an approved boating education course. Call us at 1-866-601-BOAT (1-800-601-2628), or find an agent near you for information about Allstate boat insurance coverage and options.