It’s official, the good weather is here. It’s time to get your boat ready to go sailing and spend your days at sea having fun with your family and friends. Even if you have had your boat hibernating under cover during the winter, there are always important things to check and control.

Having your boat thoroughly checked once a year will not only help you get off to a good start in the summer season, but will also minimise the chances of potential scares.

First, take a look at the engine

This is one of the most important points to make sure that your boat will be able to sail without problems. In addition, checking your engine periodically and fixing any small problems you may encounter will help your engine to maintain its value. It is recommended that this step is carried out by an expert, but with the help of the manufacturer’s manual you can check some of the following points at a glance:

  • If your engine has been in the water (outboard) check that it is in perfect condition: corrosion, propellers in good condition or possible damage.
  • Check that no water has entered the fuel tank and that the fuel tank is not leaking or clogged.
  • Replace all engine-related components that are cracked or in poor condition.
  • Check the spark plugs and also the battery.
  • Change the oil and check the filters. Check your boat’s manual to see how often you should do this. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional for help if you are not sure if you are doing it correctly.
  • Clean and refill the fuel tank (and others if present). Always in this order.

Check electrical system and navigation lights

Check that the entire electrical system of your boat is working effectively. It is advisable to recharge the batteries, check that sockets are working and any electrical appliances you may have on board. Pay special attention to the navigation lights, replace any burnt out bulbs and check anything that may cause you to fail to comply with navigation regulations.

Important! Check the safety equipment

Now is the time to make an inventory of what you have and what you are missing or need to renew. Here is a list of what you should have in your on-board safety kit:

  • Fire extinguishers and blankets
  • Life vests
  • Liferafts
  • Life rings
  • Signalling, navigation and anchor lights
  • VHF
  • Flares
  • First Aid Kit

Here is the legislation on recreational craft regulating the safety and pollution prevention equipment for recreational craft.

Check the electronics

Check that electronic gadgets such as GPS, radar, depth sounder… are in full working order. Clean them properly with a damp cloth.

Final details

Remember that if the boat has spent the winter in the water, it is important to take it out for an inspection and cleaning of the submerged parts. Clean any possible marine fouling, paint… The application of antifouling to prevent corrosion and thus improve the performance of the boat.

Remember that at Náutica Javier Berga we offer comprehensive nautical services, including the repair and tuning of your boat and engines. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want more information and get the best advice.