You’ve ripped off the shrinkwrap, de-winterized the power plant, and lovingly rubbed a fresh coat of wax on the hull, but are you really ready for your shakedown cruise? It’s been a long, cold winter, and we’re all excited — no, thrilled — to get our boats back into the water ASAP. But hold on there a moment,
captain; let’s slow things down a bit. Even though your boat’s been mothballed for months and you’ve gone through the
usual pre-launch preparations, your shakedown
could be disastrous if you don’t take the time
to check for these 10 common safety glitches,
which can strike no matter how uneventful the
winter layup may have been.
1 BILGE PUMPS AND SWITCH SNAFUS: Your boat may have been covered up and on the hard
with the drain plugs pulled, but that doesn’t guarantee
that no water made its way into the bilge.
An unseen leak or a little condensation is
all it takes to create a puddle or two, and
if one of those puddles formed around
your bilge pump or the pump’s float
switch, there could be trouble ahead in
the form of freeze damage. No, this won’t
be a problem 99 percent of the time. But
that 1 percent is a killer – literally. Before
you even dream of splashing Mom’s Mink,
test your pumps both at the helm switch
and at the auto switch. While you’re at
it, make sure the float switch doesn’t just
merely work but also swings freely and
By Lenny Rudow
Make certain the bilge pumps and
float switches are operational. A
simple check is to lift the float with
a finger – you should hear the pump
turn on. If you don’t, see page 70.
First launch of the spring? Better check the boat’s battery before you leave
home, or you could experience a much shorter trip than planned.
10Trouble Spots To Avoid This spring, gremlins await your commissioning. Here’s how to get ready to roll!