On Breaking ‘er Loose
1. After a boat has been sitting for awhile, don’t assume that ANYTHING aboard is going to work well.
2. Don’t wait to find out what’s working or what needs fixing until after you’ve gotten under way.
3. Find a way to test these things out before you launch the boat or before you leave the dock.
4. Some people with trailer boats run it while still on the trailer with an outboard motor hose adopter. If you do this, be sure to follow all manufacturers’ instructions and warnings, run it within its prescribed limits for this and be sure every one and every thing is clear. This can be very dangerous, as, for example, if the propeller becomes engaged and some one or some thing is too close. Don’t do this in a garage. Exhaust can be fatal. Have some one standing well clear and outside your boat, watching for safety issues.
5. If your boat is in a marina, run it at the dock, again within safe operating limits for this type of running. Many will put a boat in gear in the slip and run forward or aft against a spring line. If you do this be sure the line is strong enough, as well as the cleat on the boat and the dock. Consider tying that spring line to a piling instead of a cleat. If a cleat pulls loose under strong stress it can fly through the air as a lethal object.
6. Don’t just test your engine. Test things like hydraulic trim tabs, fresh water pumps (the valves may have become stiff over the winter), water heaters, cooking equipment etc. etc. Be careful. Failures can be dangerous.
7. If your boat is a sleep aboard boat, spend at least a day and night at the marina before you go out. This is a good way to find out what’s working and what’s not.
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Boating and water sports involve risk. Any comments herein should be followed at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for risk or injury to yourself or others. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that use.
Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale