January is usually a downtime for boaters, so it’s the perfect time to inspect and update your boat and equipment. Here are some suggested checks to use to ensure safe boating for the season ahead.
1. Check Flares. Flares need to be replaced every three years. Check the expiration dates and replace as needed.
2. Inspect Fire Extinguishers. Check your boat’s fire extinguishers gauges to ensure the indicator gauge is in the green “full” zone. Even if the gauge shows even partially discharged, replace them. with Coast Guard-approved fire extinguishers. Give your extinguishers a good shake to loosen any caked the fire-retardant powder at the bottom.
3. Test EPIRBs and PLBs. These require registration every two years. If your address or email has changed, you might not receive the notation. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will send a reminder to update the information.
4. Check to see when you need to replace the batteries. Also Ensure straps, buckles and flotation materials are in prime condition.
5. Check Your Horn!
6. Replace Batteries. Replace all the batteries in your flashlights, and have fresh spare batteries on boat.
7. Test Your Bilge Pump. Check all wiring and connectors for corrosion.
8. Inspect Ground Tackle. Inspect your anchor and ground tackle and replace any line, chain or shackles that have corrosion or wear.
9. Check Navigation Lights and Switch’s.
10. Protecting your Investment.
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