boat, propeller, engine, summer preparation, summer boat trips, boat trips, summer, malta, sea

Sailing enthusiasts are on their toes, waiting for the sunny season to share its 30°C plus temperatures and mild sailing conditions. The wait isn’t too far off, so don’t delay your summer prep. Rush to the boatyard during your free time, get your vessel in tip-top shape with these handy points and start the summer countdown.

  1. Examine the boat’s exterior for damages which can easily be spotted.
  2. Inspect the hull thoroughly whilst the vessel is still on land. Ensure no corrosion can be found on the sea cocks.
  3. Check if the engine cooling is fully functional.
  4. Examine the propeller to see if any fishing gear is stuck in the shaft. Take the propeller off to observe any possible dents or damages that might reduce your vessel’s performance. Lubricate if necessary.

boat, yacht, vessel, sea craft, maintenance, summer, malta

  1. Change fuel filters.
  2. Invest in a gas detector, especially if the boat has enclosed quarters. Leakage of carbon monoxide may cause poisoning and explosion if ignited.
  3. Charge the battery and get it tested. Replace the current one if it’s been in use for more than 5 years.
  4. Test out freshwater pumps and put in a new impeller after 3 to 4 years of usage.
  5. Flush sanitation devices until water flows to the bowl. Always consult the boat manual for special instructions.
  6. Prepare an anchor with the line even if you don’t plan on anchoring in open waters; it will help you not drift in case of an engine or battery breakdown. Make sure end is secured strongly to the boat.

anchor line, boat, buoy

  1. Rinse the boat even if the vessel has been in storage for some time. Dust and debris should be washed off.
  2. Give the vessel a coat of wax for protection.
  3. Undertake a general equipment inspection – blow the horn a couple of times, clean the bilge pump, test the navigation lights and stereo.
  4. Store spare bulbs for navigation lights on-board.
  5. Inspect the trailer you’re going to use to take your vessel to sea. Check the tyre pressure, store a spare wheel, attach a number plate at the back and clean up any accumulated rust.

boat trailer, boat, sea, summer

  1. Inspect lifejackets for any rips or bad seams. Is a service due?
  2. Store one lifejacket for each boat passenger and ask children to try out their jackets prior to sailing, as they might have outgrown them from the previous year.
  3. Tick all the list of required first-aid kit items.
  4. Replace fire extinguishers if the seals are broken.
  5. Get fire extinguishers and flares checked by professionals prior to boarding. Dispose wisely of expired flares.

fire extinguisher, boat fire, fire protection

  1. Make sure registration and permits are in place.
  2. Set up a kit with tools you might need in emergencies, such as ropes, booster cables, scissors and a thread blocker.
  3. Once the sea craft is taken to sea, start the engine when you’re the only one on-board. Give the engine a warm-up and activate your senses; see, hear and smell any irregularities.
  4. Secure the right marine insurance and protect your vessel against any accidental damages whilst you’re enjoying fun times with family and friends.
  5. Know local sailing regulations to avoid trouble during a random spot check.

Ongoing maintenance is cheaper than fixing things one by one, especially if certain repairs require the vessel to be out of the water. Stay organised and de-winterise your vessel at your own pace. A little preparation is worth the pay-off.