5 Tips to Prep Your Boat for Boating Season

9:27 AM

Boating season is just about here and Firstmate Controls wants to make sure you and your boat are ready to hit the water. As long-time boaters and wireless marine electronic experts, we know the struggles of boating mishaps that can take place if you don't properly prepare and maintain your boat before going out on the water. To avoid some of the common problems that boaters run into every year, we've put together a list of things that you should do before taking your boat out for the first time this season.


Inspect for Damage

Your boat may have taken on some damage since the last time you used it, so inspect the hull and all other parts of your boat thoroughly. If you've taken your boat through shallow waters, there's a chance that some of its components may have some damage from scraping. Check the rudder as well. If while transferring the boat the rudder has scraped the ground, it may have been bent which would cause the vessel to move erratically and the rudder to become loose over time. You also need to thoroughly inspect your mooring ropes and anchor chains for fraying or weakness.

Do a System Check

Before heading out, check your on-board systems for proper functionality. After sitting in storage or out in weather for extended periods of time, the system cables can become corroded and damaged. The last thing you want to happen while you're out boating with your family is to be cruising along and your steering or throttle stops working due to faulty connections or corroded cables. Not only can corrosion to your vessel's wiring cause faulty system functioning, but it can also cause your battery to drain. Double check all systems and replace any corroded or damaged wiring.

Check the Battery

Nothing is more frustrating than getting packed and loaded up for a day out on the lake only to turn the ignition... and nothing happens. Did you know that a battery can lose up to thirty percent of its charge per month while being winterized? There are all kinds of things that can affect the battery life and loss of charge - IE. temperature, humidity, age of battery, etc. Properly maintain your boat's battery to avoid the hassle of having to replace it every year. Making sure you have the right type of battery for its function is important as well. Check your owner's manual for manufacturer suggestions on the type of battery you should be using.

Inspect Safety Equipment

Do a thorough inventory and inspection of your safety equipment. Most states require you to at least have on board one life jacket per person. You should check each vest for any damage or dry rot. A damaged vest will not function as it should and therefore will not be a viable safety device in the event of an incident. Carry paddles on board in the event that a system failure does happen so you have a way to get back to shore. Also, carry a first aid kit on board and replenish it as needed.


Update your Paperwork

Last, but certainly not least, get your license, registration and tags/decals renewed. Not having these items up to date can really put a damper in your summer fun if you get stopped by the water patrol or on your way to the water. The violation fines can become pretty hefty pretty quickly if you don't take the proper measures to register your boat, motor, and trailer, and to display your ID numbers properly. Just as importantly, most states require boaters to have taken a boater's safety course in order to operate a boat legally. Some states even require boaters to be licensed before operating a boat. For more information on your state's boat license requirements, visit http://www.dmv.org/articles/boat-license-requirements-learn-how-to-apply-for-your-boat-license/.


One last suggestion on preparing for a fun and safe summer out on the water - make sure your dock and hoist are functioning properly as well. For quick and easy docking, Firstmate Controls manufactures the best boat lift remote control system around. With a remote system on your boat lift you can safely and efficiently get on and off the water in no time and with little preparation required. We can even provide a remote lighting option for dock lighting. Now that you've checked your vessel over thoroughly and have ensured that everything is functioning properly, you're ready to get out on the water and have some fun - Happy boating, friends!

Boat Lift Controls You Can Count On!


Firstmate Controls 
130 Century Commerce Loop
Labadie, MO 63055

Phone: (866) 570-9707



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