Splash Time - Safety First

09.05.24 03:45 PM By Richard Westrick

Up North, boating season is starting. Before you pull away from the dock, check these things...

Getting your boat ready to splash (and get everything done to fit in the boatyard's launch schedule), you'll be excited once the boat is in the water waiting for you to sail her to her slip or mooring ball.

But Wait! Before you pull away, check these things first.  You might be excited to get going, but it's best to check the boat while it can still be pulled out quickly if there is something amiss.

So, before pulling away, check these things:

Through-hull fittings.  Check that every place there is a hole in the boat, there is no leak. The valves to the through hulls for your head intake, sink out flow, galley sink out (and in if you have a foot pump), air conditioning intake and outflow.

But that's not all - your depth finder and knotometer also should be checked to make sure they weren't knocked loose and/or leaking. 

Next, check the engine compartment. The water intake (should be open to run the engine) and the muffler exhaust valve (if you have one) should also be open. Obviously, neither should be leaking.  Then check your prop shaft.  Your stuffing box should drip a bit, but not a lot.

Check the bilge; flip the float switch and make sure the bilge runs. 

Almost there... Make sure your throw ring is mounted and your PFDs are accessible, your vhf radio is working, and other safety equipment checks out.  It's no fun getting boarded as you are making your way to your slip for the first time only to get cited for not having your safety equipment out and updated.

You're ready to go! Make sure you have no lines in the water, your engine is ejecting water out the back, and have a safe and fun boating season!

Note that there is a splash template in BoatProject that you can refer to and check off items as necessary.  It is more detailed than this blog and includes "pre-splash" items.  Try BoatProject with all the bells and whistles for one month; then decide to subscribe or just use the free version moving forward.

If you have any comments, feel free to post below.  If you want to try BoatProject™  membership free for a month (no credit card required) so you can take a look at the templates, click this link or visit our website.
Thanks, and happy boating! Rich

Richard Westrick