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If you have had ‘one of those days’ well, actually, ‘one of those years’ and you have yet to take your beautiful boat out on to the water, do not fear, there is still time. Summer is not quite over and with any luck, the good weather will continue on for another few weeks at least.
Which means you still have time to get out there and make the most of it (admit it, you owe it to yourself!). But first, you need to make sure your precious vessel is ready to sail, and that means a thorough overall of all things nautical.
It won’t take long and it will be worth it. Want to find out some top tips for getting your boat ready? Read on….
When did you last get the motor serviced?
The last thing you want to happen is you finally manage to set sail, you are out on the open water then all of a sudden, breakdown! The engine fails, and you are stranded, leading to costly recovery and repair. Not to mention the stress, the aggravation and the sheer disappointment of not reaching your destination or your holiday being cut short.
Getting the engine serviced first of all (just like you would with your car), means the parts last longer and should ensure you don’t have any unwanted interruptions. Taking time over changing oil filters and greasing the gears will stand you in good stead and will certainly save you money in the long run.
No doubt if your boat has been stood over the winter months, there will be a build-up of mildew and signs of damp. By using marine specific cleaning products and a bit of hard work and effort, you should have your boat looking spotless again before too long. Pay attention to teak decks and to stainless steel fittings, apply extra protection where possible and look to touch up any faded or chipped paint and polish.
In addition, don’t forget to apply antifouling products to the bottom of your boat. This is arguable the most crucial part of your boat maintenance and is worth investing in the best products you can afford. It also pays to remove as much of last year’s product as possible and apply fresh every year to ensure the best protection and longevity of your boat.
For inside your boat, treat it as you would your home. Make sure the bathroom facilities are sanitized and spotlessly clean. Pay particular attention to the kitchen area and storage facilities and check any soft furnishings for salt marks or mould. Not only is this good hygiene, it will make your holiday experience much more enjoyable than if you set sail with last year’s filth as your companion!
Now is the time to replace any interior fixtures and fittings that have seen better days, or even if you just want to update the look of your boat. Here at Fennel UK we stock a superb range of contemporary looking door handles designed and manufactured to combine luxury, style and comfortable handling, and suitable for internal boat design.
Our handles are sturdy, practical and yet offer a sleek, fashionable finish that would enhance even the most stylish catamarans, motorboats, cruisers, yachts, fishing boats, riverboats or canal boats.
Whilst you are giving your boat a thorough inspection, don’t forget to check for any sign of pipes perishing, in particular gas pies which should only be replace by a qualified gas safety marine expert. Safety on board your boat is paramount and cutting corners could put you and your family in serious jeopardy.
Don’t forget to check your electrics also. Interior and exterior lights, water pumps, refrigeration and auto-pilots are all essential to your enjoyment and your safety and keeping your boat fully operational is just good practice to adhere to.
The freshwater system will also need attention in order to prevent your boat from overheating. Check for leaks and blockages, test your thermostat and any corrosion to pipes or hoses. It’s also worth considering changing your anti-freeze regularly and getting your heat exchanger cleaned.
If you have a sailing boat, now is the time to check for general wear and tear to all sails, the mast and the rigging on your boat.
Check all your sail attachments, all ropes, rivets and screws connections and don’t forget to inspect pulleys and reefing gear.
Make sure everything is clean and well lubricated and there has been no damage to your boat’s equipment over the winter months, and again repair and replace any necessary areas in need of attention in order to make your sailing experience a pleasurable one.
Hopefully by now we have given you some motivation to ditch your desk and become accustomed to your deck once more. Owning a boat is a lot of fun and can take you to loads of new places both here and abroad, depending on how far you are prepared to travel. It is important though to make sure your boat is suitable to set sail wherever you are planning to go and being a responsible boat owner means carrying out regular maintenance and equipment checks.
If you want to discuss how to maintain your boat, or if you are interested in any of our products you can contact us here or call us on 01282 871 806 where one of our experienced and friendly team are waiting to help you.
We look forward to hearing from you!