Need something to do while in quarantine? Get your boat ready for spring launch. Need an outdoor activity while social distancing? Take your boat out.
Here is SkiSafe’s pre-launch overview ahead of boating season.
Safety Equipment Pre-Launch Inspection
Personal Flotation Devices
All flotation devices aboard the vessel must be Coast Guard approved. Watercraft less than 16’ must have one Type I, II, III, or V per person. Watercraft bigger than 16’ must have one Type I, II, III, or V per person and one Type IV throwable device.
Boats less than 26’ must have one B-I fire extinguisher. 26’-40’ boats must have two B-I extinguishers or one B-II extinguisher and boats 40’-65’ must have three B-I extinguishers or one B-II and one B-I extinguisher.
Visual Distress Signals
Watercraft less than 16’ must have night signals when operating between sunset and sunrise. Watercraft longer than 16’ must have a minimum of three day-use and three night-use pyrotechnic devices.
Sound Producing Devices
Boats with a length less than 39.4’ must have a horn, whistle, or other device capable of producing sound. Boats larger than 40’ must also have one bell able to produce a 4 second blast for half a mile.
Backfire Flame Arrestors
Gas-powered watercraft of all sizes must have one Coast Guard approved device on each carburetor.
Marine Sanitation Devices
Any toilet installed on a boat under 65’ must be a CG-certified Type I, II, or III marine sanitation device. Vessels over 65’ can only have Type II or III devices.
All boats must follow the “honor system” when it comes to polluting. Boats larger than 26’ must have a 5’’ X 8’’ oil discharge placard and a 4’’ X 9’’ MARPOL trash placard. Watercraft over 39.4’’ must have a waste management plan in addition.
All boaters should be familiar with the recommended rules, but vessels 39.4’ and over are required to have a current copy of the USDOT USCG International – Inland Navigation Rules aboard.
All size watercraft must have one Coast Guard-approved powered system.
First Aid Kit
We recommend having a fully-stocked first aid kit in case of an emergency.
Systems Pre-Launch Checklist
Display & Documentation
- State-Issued Certificate of Number
- Federal Registration Documents
- Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation Insurance Documents & Cards
- Examine all electrical connections
- Charge or reinstall all batteries as needed Clean and tighten all connections
- Coat battery terminals with insulating grease
Engine & Fuel System
- Replace engine and transmission cooler zincs
- Inspect engine mounts
- Replace engine heater plugs
- Replace fuel filters
- Clean or replace engine air filter
- Check the oil cooler for leaks
- Check level of the oil reservoir
- Check hose clamps for corrosion
- Scrub bilges and engine pan
- Replace oil absorbent pads
Belts, Cables & Hoses
- Inspect hoses and clamps for leaks and corrosion
- Inspect exhaust elbows
- Replace engine belts
- Inspect the boat’s steering controls and linkage Inspect wear ring and impeller
- Rinse trailer
- Check for rust spots and remove them as needed
- Grease wheel bearings
- Lubricate the coupler and tongue jack
- Replace any faulty components
Propellers & Hull
- Replace raw water pump impellers and gasket
- Inspect and clean raw water strainers
- Service hull sea cocks
- Examine the condition of shaft and boots
- Clean propeller growths and check blades
- Install new zinc
Outdrives & Outboards
- Check the outdrive for cracks
- Check hydraulic trim fluid and replace if necessary
- Check lower-unit lubrication level
- Replace holding tank filter
- Commission fresh water system and fill water tank
- Test water systems and remove non-toxic antifreeze
- Prep and paint lower unit as needed
- Clean and paint strainers
- Prep and paint bottom
- Clean swim platform, boarding ladder & boarding step
- Re-install exterior cushions and canvas
- Inspect swage fittings and replace as necessary
- Check halyards and sheets for wear
- Inspect for “fishhooks” in wires
- Lubricate turnbuckle threads
- Rinse chain plates to check for leaks
- Inspect chain plates for rust