Love Your Boat?
Treat it right and it will pay dividends!
Ask anyone how important their boat is and generally the answer is unequivocal, indeed one could hazard a guess about where the beloved boat ranks in a list of priorities in quite a few relationships. There are many cartoons and jokes about the subject with human relationships coming second!For many of us our boat comes first, becoming a passion that overrides every other emotional connection, many of our friends live aboard most of their free time, some most of their lives.
So, why are people so cavalier about the condition of their boats?
We note in the various media publications and online some very dubious practices, people using nails to replace fuses, welding’s on pipe work that is clearly unfit for purpose, deck mountings that are surface mounted only and pulling loose under stress, the list goes on and on.
Surely poor maintenance is counterintuitive?
People rely on their boats, literally putting their lives on the line, if the boat is a bucket of broken bits and ill repaired parts why would it serve you well? ‘Make do and mend’ is fine for some situations but boats heading to sea or other deep water are already heading into a potentially risky situation, if the boat is unserviceable or ill maintained then it becomes a serious risk to all concerned. Sure, experienced boaters who ‘know their craft’ will, generally, cope but for the most of us that is not good enough. By the way, insurance policies will not be impressed by lousy maintenance on boats, especially security systems, motor maintenance, undue risk taking etc., just remember insurance companies like taking premiums but do not like paying out – give them a reason to say ‘no’ and they will walk away.
Stay safe, be wise in looking after your prized boat – it will pay you back massively in pleasure and fun without putting you and yours at risk.
Every system on a boat is there for a reason, to make it move through the water,provide electricity, power up electronics, chill the beers in the refrigerator, power the security systems and the air conditioner where appropriate etc. Professional boat maintenance is probably the most cost-effective investment after the boat itself, go cheap and you get cheap. However, investment in proper maintenance makes perfect sense. Using the correct fuses reduces the risk of fire on board, properly welded and secured motor pipework – sea cocks – discharge outlets etc will retain the hull integrity of your boat – waste out no leakage in, electronics regularly checked over – radio and other gizmo’s and of course removing growth of vegetation from the hull, painting and repairing scrapes and other damage, all are worth getting checked by the professionals.
Highly experienced advisers many of whom may be found at sail/boat clubs, in the media and at the marinas are available, check out their prices and remember cheapest is not always the most cost effective.
People hiring boats for pleasure should check the seaworthiness and maintenance condition of any boat before setting out on any water, ask pointed questions, don’t be fooled by fast talking sales people, ask to see safety logs, maintenance logs, and make certain that the vessel you are about to entrust your life to, and anyone else’s, is sound in every way.
Due diligence means checking in detail that any boat is safe to use in every way possible. Lovers of high risk sports take calculated risks, those of us who don’t but do like to sail or chug around the bay and back prefer to stay safe, and that means being secure in your mind that the craft beneath you is going to perform correctly allowing all on board to enjoy their time afloat.
Be passionate about safety.