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Get Your Boat Summer Ready

For people who live in the Northeast, the summer season is a precious commodity. Sunshine and warm days can feel short lived, so it’s important to be sure you, and your boat, are ready to launch as soon as the temperature rises. Here are three important steps you should take now to help avoid any potential issues that could leave you stranded in the open water.

Check the Battery

  • If some of your boat’s electronics -such as the radio or GPS system - are not turning on or staying on, it may be a battery issue.
  • The best way to know if your battery is in good shape is to bring it to a battery retailer and ask them to load test it. Many retailers will perform this test free of charge.

Perform a System Check

  • Examine your boat’s fuel and electric systems and look for any damaged or cracked hoses, making sure all the connections, fittings, and clamps are tight and free of erosion.
  • Inspect the belts and cables, paying close attention to steering and throttle.
  • Change the oil and oil filter if needed and check other fluids levels such as the power steering and coolant.
  • Make sure the exhaust and ventilation systems are working properly.
  • Test running lights and horns.

Check Your Safety Supplies

  • Take inventory of your life jackets, checking to make sure they are in good condition and will appropriately fit all boat passengers.
  • ­Make sure that your fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. If you do not already have a carbon monoxide detector on your boat, you should install one. Find out why in this article from the CDC.  
  • Locate your first aid kit and replenish any items that are running low or expired.

You will also want to ensure that you have the proper insurance coverage for your boat - it’s just as important as car insurance and you could be more at risk on the water due to the number of inexperienced, uninsured boaters out there with you. Despite how cautious and careful you might be, you can’t protect yourself from natural occurrences or unavoidable accidents. For example, if you are in a car accident that is the other person’s fault, you would rely on the other person’s insurance to provide coverage and fall back on your own if you needed to. However, not everyone is required to carry boat insurance and you could find yourself with a big bill should your boat be damaged or anyone aboard your boat injured.

Depending on your policy, boat insurance may also cover theft or storm damage, but it’s best to contact your insurance provider to discuss what’s covered under your plan. Usually, you can save money by bundling your boat insurance with your home or auto insurance. To learn more about boat insurance, contact SIS Insurance at 518.783.1010 or via email at