Getting your boat summer-ready in Australia
The days are heating up in Australia, which means more and more boat lovers are starting to hit the water. We’ve put together a four-point check list that will help you get your boat summer-ready. Here’s what you need to know!
Step 1 – check your boat and safety equipment
If your boat has been covered, remove the tarp or canvas and check it for damage before storing it away somewhere dry. If the cover is damaged, it’s worth getting it repaired before winter, so you have less to do in the lead up to storing your boat away later.
Now, it’s time to check the boat.
- Inspect the hull, the boat’s interior and your trailer for damage, wear or rust.
- Tighten any screws or fittings that may have become loose over the off-months.
- Take your safety gear out of the boat, and double check the condition of flares, extinguishers, life jackets and EPIRBs.
- Replace any expired safety gear, or equipment that shows signs of wear.
Head here for more info on how to get your boat safe and ready for an emergency.
Step 2 – clean your boat up
Starting the boating season with a clean and properly maintained boat will make all the difference to your time on the water. Even boats that have been covered need a clean-up, as dirt, moisture and insects are more than likely to be present.
When cleaning your boat, be sure to use the right cleaning product for the job. That means choosing the product that works best on the surface you’re cleaning, as using one product for everything could damage parts of your boat.
Where to start cleaning your boat
- The hull – use a hull cleaner to give the outside of your boat a thorough clean. Remove any rust stains, leaf or waterline. If stains are bad, you may need to go over the hull more than once.
- Seats – use a vinyl cleaner and shampoo to remove any mildew or mould on seats, or any other vinyl covered items onboard. After, go over the vinyl with a vinyl polish and restorer. (Use a fabric cleaner for seats made of cloth.)
- Toilet – if you have a toilet, give it a good clean using Toilchem Green Toilet Cleaner, which is formulated for long drops and other toilets that require strong odour control (like a boat toilet!).
- Bilge – check to see if fuel or oil has escaped into the bilge. If so, a bilge oil absorber will handle the oil. You can also use a heavy duty bilge cleaner to disperse any grime or sludge, so it can then be pumped out.
- Deck – find a deck cleaning product that works on the material your deck is made of. For example, a non-skid cleaner works well on fibreglass or painted decks. Teak cleaners are great for fine woods, and of course, teak.
- Aluminium frames – use an aluminium cleaner on your aluminium frames, tanks, railings or any other aluminium items onboard. To avoid damage, be sure to rinse off the areas you have cleaned.
- Sealant – check your boat to see if any sealant has broken down, or become mouldy. If this is the case, replace with fresh sealant to stop water from coming in and to keep your boat looking fresh.
- Glass and windows – use a glass cleaner to go over all of the glass and windows onboard (inside and outside). Spray on the cleaner and use a squeegee to wipe down the surfaces for a streak-free clean.
Step 3 – Start your boat
If your boat has been sitting around unused for a while, then the following steps will make your transition into the water as smooth as possible.
- Check your battery – we recommend charging your battery, even if your boat starts up on the first go. Sometimes there’s not enough charge to get the motor started later, so a quick charge could save you a big headache later. Replace the battery if it’s old.
- Electrical equipment – check over all of your lights, gauges, pumps and other electrical equipment on your boat and your trailer. If anything is damaged, replace it. If anything is faulty, have it repaired.
- Fuel – boats off the water can start to collect moisture in the fuel tank, which contaminates the fuel. This can happen even with minimal fuel in the tank. Stale fuel can also be a problem, so always drain the tank and fill it up fresh after a hiatus.
- The motor – finally, it’s time to start your motor! Once you have started her up, allow your boat to idle. Then, rev the engine briefly and watch out for any smells or other indications of leaking fuel. Hear anything weird? Take your boat to the mechanic.
Step 4 – Get covered
Before you hit the water, it’s worth checking your cover. New insurance products come on the market all time – so there may be a more affordable option that provides the level of cover you need. If you’d like an obligation-free quote, please get in touch. And stay safe out there!