Make sure your boat has what it needs and not what it shouldn’t, to make your trips safe and fun. Doing that one job as soon as your boat gets into the water could save you gas money, stop you safe, and make your boating more enjoyable.
Make sure to …
take inventory of what’s aboard from last season and what items you need to create from storage, replenish at home and/or purchase. We’ve done this for decades and it works.
It’s recommended to really have a complete check list of one’s inventory so you can check off the items you’ve and make note of what you need to create from various locations. That you don’t wish to miss or overlook anything. If you do not have an inventory, consider making one to make use of this year and next. It could make it so easier next year.
Produce a checklist of whatever you must have on your boat. Use this checklist every Spring. Everytime you use it, allow it to be an even more complete checklist. This may make inventorying your boat parts faster and easier…and as the checklist is on paper and not in your mind, it becomes an activity you can delegate.
No two boats and no two Boaters would be the same. Depending on the size and type of your boat in addition to what kind of boating activities you do, your list may vary significantly from other boaters.
Following are some suggestions of areas and items for the check list:
- Check the helm for electronics, charts, binoculars etc. Check the cockpit seats and storage areas for buckets, mops and cleaning supplies.
- Make sure you have the required safety equipment for the size and type of boat— fire extinguishers, flares, jackets, flashlight, bailing bucket, bilge pump, horn, ring buoy, heaving line, flares and other safety equipment. Notonly is it law to really have the required safety equipment for the boat, but it is also wise practice to have it just in case you need it. It’s safer for you and your crew.
- Check the galley for cutlery, dishes, pots and pans etc. Make sure you have everything you need for the type of boating so you don’t get caught in the center of meals and not need a corkscrew for your wine or even a can opener for the beans. Make note of or remove any old food, soap etc. from last year.
- Check the top for head chemical, cleaning supplies etc.
- Check the sleeping area for bedding, clothes etc.
- Check your supply of bug repellent, fly swatters, rain gear and netting.
- Check you canvas. Are typical the pieces accounted for?
- Check the engine compartment for the supply of oil, spare parts and tools.
- Sailors need certainly to also check their inventory and condition of sails, running rigging, standing rigging, blocks, winches, etc.
- Fishermen would pay close attention for their supply of fishing gear.
- The cruising crowd would check anchors, anchor lines, ice chests and other equipment and supplies linked to traveling.
- Cottagers should ensure they have ski ropes, skis, boards, extra lines and bungies for securing loads, etc.
- For boaters who trailer their boats everywhere they’re going, important what to inventory are trailering supplies like tie downs, spare lights, wiring, trailer ball etc.
Boaters who endure an extended cold winter have a tradition of stripping their boats by the end of the boating season and then restocking them at the beginning of the next boating season. You will find great advantages to the ritual come Spring:
- Maximizes space by purging and thinning out items that are not really needed aboard.
- Decreases your fuel consumption and cost by getting rid of extra weight (like a supplementary case of oil).
- Avoids frustrations and problems produced by missed or misplaced items once you take inventory and know what you have onboard.
- Enjoy your limited boating time more because there won’t be any bothersome missed details.
So, this week, be sure you have an Inventory checklist for the boat–AND USE IT.