Spring Commissioning Checklist – Get Your Yacht Ready For 2018 Boating Season

Spring Commissioning Tips

By now you have had it with all of this winter weather. We all need a distraction, that’s why we are excited for the 2018 Boating season!  That’s right, the 2018 boating season is just around the corner and it’s time to Spring commission your boat and book your slip at our state-of-the-art marina!  Spring commissioning affords boat owners an opportunity to reacquaint themselves with various systems, and carry out routine maintenance. To help make that first launch toward your first boating expedition as trouble-free as possible, we’ve compiled a handy list of areas you’ll want to address as you get ready.  Remember, SI Yachts is your local boating one-stop-shop! Our state-of-the-art marina & service center will accommodate all of your boating needs from the smallest of jobs to larger ones like refitting your engines or installing a SeaKeeper, and we do it all on-site.Carrying out a commissioning inspection of this sort will almost certainly enable you to increase your vessel’s seaworthiness and reliability, as well as affording peace of mind to her crew. Here are a few Spring tips…

 

HULL TOPSIDES, TOPSIDES AND DECK:
Bottom Paint:  Barnacle growth reduces speed and maneuverability and increases fuel consumption.  ChooseWisely: There are various antifouling paints on the market, the type you choose depends on what type of boating you do and where you boat. Our staff knows the waters well and which paint will be best for your vessel.

 

Fiberglass Restoration: Give the topsides a good scrubbing. Clean all plastic and Eisinglass and apply a good polish. Clean your vinyl with a high quality cleaner and protectant. Clean fiberglass and apply a coat of marine wax.  

 

Engines & Fuel Systems:
Outboard Engines: Inspect rubber outdrive bellows for cracked, dried and/or deteriorated spots (look especially in the folds), and replace if suspect. Wires, make sure they’re in good shape, firmly attached (not loose or dangling), and free from corrosion or other damage  Inspect outer jacket of control cables. Cracks or swelling indicate corrosion and mean that the cable has to be replaced.  For a full engine commission click here

 

Ignition system: For gasoline engines, make sure the spark plug wires and boots are clean. If the rag comes away black, it’s a sign that the rubber has deteriorated and the wires need replacement. Pay special attention to the spark-plug boots. If they’re brittle or cracked wires need replacing.

 

Hoses: Coolant hoses have a propensity to fail at the most inconvenient times, so now is when you should check them by looking for abrasion or other damage. Squeeze them. If they’re firm and pop back into shape, they’re probably fine; if not, replace them. Look for signs of weeping or leakage.

 

Hose clamps: Repeated thermal expansion and vibration can cause hose clamps to eventually loosen, and not all clamps are impervious to corrosion. Visually inspect each clamp for signs of oxidation and then tighten it using your nut driver. 

 

Sea Water Impellers: Sea water impellers are better when freshly changed in the Spring, just prior to Spring start up. 

 

Fresh Water System: Fresh water system should be sanitized at the start of each season. To sanitize the system and kill bacteria do the following: Make sure the hot water heater is off. Empty system by turning on the pump and opening all the faucets (Hot and Cold) till empty, turn off pump. In a container with a gallon of fresh water mix 1/4 cup bleach. Add one of these gallons for every 15 gallons of tank capacity. Once filled run a quart of water out of each faucet including the hot water side,so that all the lines are filled with the solution. Let sit for three hours. No more than 24 hours. Next drain the entire water system through all the faucets(now is a good time to clean all the diffusion screens in the faucets so they will not get clogged with the stuff that is coming out.) Fill with fresh water only and drain it one more time. To remove excess chlorine taste or odor which might remain, prpeare a solution of one quart white vinegar to five gallons of water and allow this to remain overnight. Drain the system again and fill with fresh water.
Maintain Your Zincs:  It would be hard to overstate the importance of maintaining the zinc anodes on your boat. When a zinc is gone, the metal component it was installed to protect begins to dissolve. Where the zinc is mounted directly to the protected metal-bolted to the side of a metal rudder, for example-it is essential to make sure the surface under the zinc is bare and bright before the anode is installed. This is to ensure good electrical contact. Zincs are installed on the shafts, rudders, trim tabs and swimplatform lifts. Zinc anodes cannot perform their function unless they are exposed. Putting paint on a zinc smothers it, rendering it useless. Never coat zinc anodes with bottom paint.

Check power steering and power trim oil levels. 

Sea Water Impellers: Sea water impellers are better when freshly changed in the Spring, just prior to Spring start up. 

Strainers – Check your strainers to make sure they are clean and clear. 

SAFETY:
Test Your CO, Smoke & Fume Detectors: Test all the units onboard since both types have buttons or switches for testing purposes.

EPIRBS: Check the expiration date on the side of the unit:  If close to expiration date send out for battery replacement. If you do not have one consider purchasing one. Make sure to register it with the US coast guard. Flare Expiration Date: If it is within 90 days you’ll need to replace them. Dipose of them by giving them to your local fire department.

Inspections:  This goes for Life Raft & Ditch Bag. If inspection is due send it with the hydrostatic release to an authorized facility to be repacked.

Personal Flotation Devices:  Make sure you have the correct number and size for the passengers you are likely to have on board. For inflatable PFDs determine that the CO2 cylinder is fully charged. Replace the water activated bobbin on each one. If your PFD has a strobe light make sure to replace the battery.

MISCALLANEOUS:
Ground tackle. Check that the nylon rode is in good shape, thimbles are sound and the shackle pins are tight and properly secured with stainless steel wire or UV resistant ty wrap.

Replace Flashlight Batteries – Tip: if you load the batteries in backwards you can avoid draining in the case that the light is inadvertently turned on. When needed you can easily load them in the right way.

Check Your Navigation Lights. Replace bulbs and clean up the contacts and lens.

Marine Exam: Courtesy, if you contact your local US coast gueard auxiliary or US power squadron. Inquire about a courtesy marine exam CME. A certified inspector can check your vessel and make recommendations for any safety upgrades. This service is free and a current CME sticker displayed on your boat can sometimes help avoid Coast Guard or local law enforcement patrol stops to check your gear.

As always, SI Yachts is here to help! We want your Spring commission to be an enjoyable & seamless transition into the 2018 boating season.  Contact us today to schedule your Spring commission 718.984.7676; you’ll be glad you did!

Looking for a full-service, fully staffed, conveniently located marina? Our marina still has slips available and we are offering group discounts! As part of our ongoing efforts to show you, our customer, how much we  appreciate your business, look at what our slip program offers: 

  • Reduction in 2018 slip rental fees verse 2017
  • Lower fuel costs at our fuel dock – exclusively for all marina customers.
  • Everybody loves a clean bottom so all marina customers are eligible for a 50% reduction in June for one haul & bottom wash – those barnacles really hurt your boat’s performance and fuel consumption!

SI Yachts is the Northeast’s most powerful yacht sales & brokerage firm with are also an award winning service center and marina which is convenient, safe, technologically advanced marina out with an adjacent playground & park, restaurants, tiki bars, marine & ship’s store, on-site fuel dock and a brand new bath house beautifully appointed with tile showers plus we are 5 minutes from open water!  It doesn’t get more convenient than that! Having a little minor trouble? No problem, our full-service marina staff is on hand 24/7.

For a simple easy to use Spring checklistclick here

 


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