Finally, it's time to ready your boat for the upcoming season! But all may not be well, as the photos and firsthand experiences below will show.
Overlooking small things during spring commissioning can translate to big problems.
It's almost spring — when all our plans for the boating season ahead are positive and hopeful. This is an important time; many Insurance claim files show over and over that it's the little things missed during spring commissioning that can lead to serious problems that will not only lighten your wallet but also rob your family of precious time on the water.
Here are 2 examples of some common items that can't be overlooked during your spring-commissioning activities.
Check Those Thru-Hulls
Springtime is the right time to check each of your composite (plastic) thru-hulls for cracks and deterioration. Degradation due to ultraviolet light is the main culprit; however, stress caused by an unsupported hose bouncing around inside also can be a factor. Failure typically begins as a crack where the body of the thru-hull fitting joins the outer flange, often progressing until the flange simply falls off. Once that occurs, there's nothing left to keep the thru-hull in place, meaning that it will eventually be pulled inboard, leaving a gaping hole. The thru-hull shown here was located near the waterline; the resulting hole reduced the vessel's effective freeboard from feet to inches.
Inspect Your Hose Clamps
The devil is in the details, as this photo clearly shows. The owner failed to refit the hose clamps for the engine's raw-water intake hose (which had been removed while winterizing the engine the previous fall). The loose hose slipped off soon after launch, partially sinking the vessel.
Nothing helps more to reduce such slip-ups than a detailed checklist.