Please select your home edition
Edition
Marina Exchange 728x90 1

Boating season kicks off this weekend: 3 things boaters get wrong with spring commissioning

by Scott Croft 25 May 17:29 UTC
Keeping an eye on your boat's sacrificial anodes may help identify stray current in the water. © Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore/BoatUS

You made it through your long to-do list of spring commissioning items and you're ready to go in the water this Memorial Day holiday weekend - the traditional kickoff to the summer boating season.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) says don't forget these three often-overlooked steps that could bring your season to a screeching halt.

1. Don't get hosed. Aged hoses and fittings below the waterline are the single most common cause of sinkings – especially early in the season. Biggest culprits? Corroded fittings, old hoses, rusty hose clamps, leaking stuffing boxes, and split bellows (on inboard/outboard-powered vessels). Before launching, using a bright light and mirror to take a good look at all your hoses and bellows (drive and shift cable) to ensure they are in good condition. Hoses should fit snugly and be double-clamped where possible. Clamps tend to corrode on the bottom where it may be hard to see. Inspect thru-hulls for corrosion or cracking, and make sure seacocks operate easily so you can close them in an emergency. Immediately after launching, check everything again.

2. A matter of anodes: Much of the value of any recreational vessel is it's propulsion system and nearly every recreational vessel has anodes — or zincs — those bolted-on sacrificial chunks of metal (made from zinc, aluminum or magnesium) that protect the running gear from its own self-destruction in the form of galvanic corrosion. Don't forget to inspect or replace anodes if necessary, and keep an eye on them over the season. The rate at which an anode deteriorates may indicate stray current in the water.

3. Yes, you did forget the plug: It's one of the most common mistakes made by boaters in the spring, most often at the launch ramp. In a recent survey of BoatUS members, more than 60% of the nearly 1,500 respondents admitted to forgetting to insert the drain plug at some point in their boating lifetime. Having a boat launch checklist can help - laminate it and use a snap ring to connect it to your boat ignition keys so you will always have it ready.

BoatUS has a range of Spring Commissioning information, including an essential checklist, here.

Related Articles

Test your emergency beacon knowledge
Take this 4-question true-false BoatUS Foundation quiz The proliferation of personal locator beacons (PLBs), whose diminutive size belie their enormous on-water safety advantage, are no longer thought of exotic rescue electronics. Posted on 16 Jun
Biggest college angling TV event at Pickwick Lake
Nearly 400 students, 200 competitor boats set to take to the water Registration is closed and the field is set for college fishing's longest running bass angling competition, the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops, to be held May 26-27. Posted on 24 May
Affordable 3-hour courses start on Kent Island, ND
Getting into recreational boating isn't as easy as you would think - until now The Chesapeake Bay may be a boating mecca, but getting into recreational boating isn't as easy as you would think. Posted on 21 May
Three safety changes you need to know
As National Safe Boating Week approaches National Safe Boating Week arrives May 21–27 with an annual reminder for boaters to champion recreational boating safety all summer long. Posted on 10 May
BoatUS warns boaters to be wary of USCG letters
Official-looking vessel documentation renewal notices can lead to confusion and higher costs Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is advising boaters with vessels that have a U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation to be wary of any letter arriving by U.S. mail offering renewal. Posted on 6 May
Whoa, boaters! Slow down on the recent E15 news
There's been a lot of pain at the pump lately with gas prices There's been a lot of pain at the pump lately with gas prices. The Biden administration's April 12 move to give a waiver from the Clean Air Act to allow the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15) during the summer months is intended to lower costs. Posted on 19 Apr
Three clean refueling tips for boaters
For Earth Day and every day from the BoatUS Foundation At the first-ever Earth Day celebration in 1970, pollution was commonly accepted as the price of prosperity, and many Americans remained unaware of environmental concerns. Posted on 13 Apr
A vessel safety check keeps your boat up-to-date
Ensures you're in compliance with new boating safety equipment regulations How do you know your boat is ready for a safe summer boating season and complies with new U.S. Coast Guard regulations? Posted on 12 Apr
TowBoatUS now open on “Private” side of Lake Anna
Capt. Gary Jacobs opens his second port, TowBoatUS Sorbie Cove Virginia's Lake Anna has long been divided when it comes to requesting on water assistance for routine boat breakdowns. Posted on 1 Apr
Top tips for wearing engine cutoff switch lanyard
BoatUS Foundation offers safe and comfortable options for regulation compliance The law mandates the use of either a helm or outboard lanyard or wireless engine cutoff switch (ECOS) on certain vessels less than 26 feet when traveling on plane or above displacement speed. Posted on 23 Mar
38 South - Merry Fisher 795 Series - FOOTER - Sept2021Coast Guard Foundation FOOTER 1Marina Exchange FOOTER 1