Saturday, February 17, 2018

Avoid a Spring Sinking

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Unless your vessel is a submarine, the goal is to keep it floating. To decrease the chances that an icy, snowy winter and a rain-soaked spring will sink your boat, visit it as early as you can. Start by eyeing it everywhere for water tightness, and then turn a hose on each vulnerable location.  After checking for water that enters after the hosing, take the time to do the following:

  • Inspect the hull for cracks, blisters, dings, and dents.
  • Ensure that thru-hull fittings are not corroded or cracked.
  • Check engine coolant lines for proper fitting.
  • Examine all shafts, readjusting the stuffing box packing if necessary.
  • Inspect the muffler and exhaust hose.
  • Make sure that all seacocks work properly and are not frozen open or shut.
  • Clean all debris from the scuppers.
  • Be sure that the drain plug is properly installed.
  • Confirm that the intake strainer is secure and corrosion-free.
  • Replace all cracked or weak hoses for the head and air conditioning.
  • Before you hook up to the dock’s fresh water system, ensure that fittings, clamps, and valves are tight and that the hose isn’t dried out.
  • Check all thru-hull bolts, such as those securing the swim platform, speedometer, transducers, and struts.
  • Check the out-drive unit of an inboard/outboard for damage or leaks.
  • Check and replace dried-out caulking around hatches and ports.

Don’t overlook even a teeny drip or leak. A little bit of moisture over a prolonged period turns into a lot of moisture, and a lot of moisture can send your boat below.

Since April showers and storms abound, be sure your boat won’t be banging into the dock after you do your initial inspection. Check all the lines (reinforce them, too) and hang out your fenders. Finally, visit your boat regularly this spring, even if you don’t plan to start taking her out until Memorial Day or later. Nothing ruins a planned launch in the summer quite like discovering your boat went south in the spring.

Comments are closed.