Preparing your boat for the summer season is an important task for all boatowners. Whether it’s for your own leisure activity or your business is in the boating and tourism industry, you have to ensure your boat is safe for launching onto the water. There are lots of different elements involved in getting your boat ready for the season ahead, from safety to engine maintenance, as well as the fuel system. Marine Diesel or Marine Gas Oil is similar to ordinary diesel however it has a higher density and does not have to be heated during storage.
With over 30 years of experience in providing quality marine diesel fuels, we understand the importance of the demanding schedules and needs of the marine industry. Particularly with Ireland’s unpredictable weather, it’s vital that having quality marine diesel delivered efficiently so that you can set for the sea when you need to. And of course the ocean too can be very unpredictable and unforgiving. It’s imperative for the safety of you and your crew that you take the time to ensure that your boat is sea worthy and prepared for any event before setting sail. So here is a handy guide to assist you in preparing your boat for the summer season.
SAFETY COMES FIRST
Anything can happen on board your boat so it’s important to make sure that you have any safety equipment up to a high standard. Life jackets are a very important element of water safety. Check that they are all in good condition and the right size for each member of the crew and passengers. A first aid kit should also be part of your inventory. Check that it is well stocked. Anything that is either out of date or used up, replace with more supplies. Make sure all of the fire extinguishers have been serviced, and in the correct locations depending on the use. It’s important to note that there are different classes of fire extinguishers. Ensure that they are the correct class for the size and facilities of your boat.
Carbon monoxide detectors are an important safety of any boat, particularly when it comes to fuel and gas within enclosed spaces. An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is vital in the event of your boat getting into difficulty at sea. Once signalled, the Irish Coast Guard will be alerted to your distress call as well as identifying your location. This means that help will be on the way as soon as possible.
UP ON THE DECK
The first thing you should check on deck is any signs of water leaking. Pay particular attention to deck fittings, hatches and port windows. If there’s any evidence of displaced caulking (sealant) or green corrosion, then this could suggest that there is water leakage. Reseal any damaged caulking as this is important in keeping the boat watertight. Cold weather can actually shrink the caulking so it’s good practice to check and reseal in the spring.
If you have any wooden teak in your boat, that should be cleaned with a gentle cleaner specifically for teak. If it is varnished teak, it may require revarnishing for the season ahead. Any ropes, chains or cables on the deck should be checked for fraying or damage.
If your boat has been stored out of the water for the winter months, you will need to check the condition of your fuel. Diesel left in a fuel tank for months can attract moisture which then leads to sludge build up. This can then cause blockages in your fuel lines. Check your fuel system for signs of damage or leaks with particular attention to connections and the fuel hose. Any brittleness or cracking on the fuel hose will mean It will need to be replaced. It could be safer to empty your fuel tank and replace with fresh quality marine diesel. You can read more about our quality marine diesel available here. Make sure you do not pump until you have filled the tank with fuel.
It would be advisable to get your electrics looked on the boat before launching – preferably by a qualified electrical technician. The last thing you want is to have a fire while out at sea. Salt water can be corrosive so any electrics that are showing signs of corrosion will need to be replaced. However you can check some things yourself. Conduct a simple test on your battery and engine. It is better practice to remove the battery if the boat is not in use during the winter. The cold weather can have an effect on the condition of the battery. The battery will most likely need either recharging for the season ahead.
FLUIDS AND FILTERS
Depending on the type of boat, there are various types of fluid levels that should be checked. The Coolant, transmission and hydraulic steering fluid levels will all require some attention before hitting the water. Replenish or replace all as required. Your engine oil level should also be checked. It is recommended that the oil should be changed either every year or every 100 hours of use, whichever comes first. Your fuel filter, oil filter and air filter should also be changed every year.
One final point is to check the condition of your trailer. This will be vital for transportation of your boat and launching it onto the water. Make sure the lights are working on the trailer and that it is the correct size for the weight of your boat. Pay close attention the tyres on your trailer – make sure they are roadworthy and sufficiently pumped.
PREPARING YOUR BOAT FOR THE SUMMER SEASON
Of course, every boat has different requirements and it would be recommended to have your boat fully serviced by a qualified marine engineer every year. It’s up to you whether you prefer to do this at the start of the season or before putting the boat into storage for the winter. However if you are ready to launch your boat into the water for the season ahead and would like to schedule a delivery of quality marine diesel, why not call us on 021 4222011. You can also email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also check out our parent company www.tria.ie for more information on the range of quality fuels available. With over 30 years of experience, our fast and efficient marine diesel delivery service is available to customers based throughout Cork City and the wider County Cork area.