Now that the fall season is here, boat owners are taking their final boat rides of the season in regions all across the northern sections of the country. As boating up north is a most definite seasonal activity for these residents, the next activity they will participate in with their boats is to winterize their watercraft before storing it for the winter.
While winterizing your boat, there may be no doubt that you will notice that some of the craft’s parts and accessories need a good cleaning, refurbishing, or replacement altogether. This may be the best time of the year to take stock of changes or improvements, and perhaps additions that need to be made so that you’ll be up and ready to get running right away when you first drop your boat into the water in the spring.
When making out “wish lists” for their boat, may boaters break this down into three fundamental categories. There are, of course, the luxury items that every boater enjoys having onboard (based, of course, on the boat’s size). Items like microwaves, TVs, stereos, barbecues, refrigerators/freezers, etc. are very nice to have, but by no means should be a high priority. If such items fit into the framework of the budget after needed items are obtained, then that’s certainly a bonus.
Some items are more important, taking much more precedence than those luxury ‘toys’. Upgrading wearing down parts and accessories in hardware, electrical, and engine parts, hoses and the like are important preventative measures to take and should be taken care of when possible.
And the one area that is of supreme importance, the items that need to be at the top of the list of things to get and have onboard at all times is certified, functional boat safety equipment.
Based on the size of the boat, certain pieces of safety equipment are critical on some boats and don’t apply to others. A carbon monoxide alarm, for example, can be extraordinarily important on boats with indoor cabins, while not doing any good on smaller, open bow craft. To get a great idea of items that are essential safety items to have, boat owners should check out quality, reliable websites and companies, like MMI Marine, that sell an astounding number of boat parts and accessories for every need on the boat.
Some essential safety equipment and supplies every boater should have onboard include: life jackets for every passenger; lifesaver; safety flares for both day and night use; a fire extinguisher; a horn; a first aid kit; and some means of making emergency contact with the Coast Guard, preferably a marine radio.