Summer is the season of fun under the sun and making a splash with adventures in the water. And if you live in a city like North Bay, it means unlocking a whole new way to explore the Gateway to the North. Sitting on Lake Nipissing, located between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay, there’s more than one way to make any watercraft enthusiast happy.
But before taking your boat out of storage and sailing off the shores of North Bay, there are a few things you need to do to get ready. Since it’s your first sail of the season, your boat requires cleaning, a full inspection, and tune-up. And just as important whether you’re cruising on familiar territory or you’re venturing to uncharted waters, you need the right watercraft insurance to protect yourself and your boat.
Can’t wait to take your boat out of storage and leave the dock? Check out these boat maintenance tips for the summer. Find out how to set sail safely and enjoy your time out on the water.
Ready, set, sail! Paddle away, cruise, or stop for a quick dip in the middle of Lake Nipissing just off the shores of North Bay with a boat that’s ready for all your water adventures this season.
1. Change the battery
Is your boat’s engine still running? Keep in mind that seasons have passed since you were last out on the water. So before you leave the dock, check the battery of your boat. With as much as 30% of the charge depleting over the winter, ensure your boat is fully charged before heading out. You can use a voltmeter or take your boat to a mechanic to check the battery level. As well, keep in mind that boat batteries typically last only four to five years before they need a replacement.
2. Change the oil and filters
Just like any vehicle, boats require an oil and filter change periodically. It’s recommended to get your oil and filters changed ever six months or after 375 hours of boating. Since your last oil change was likely last summer, it needs one after sitting in storage all winter.
3. Check the fuel system
Did you know that unlike other modes of transportation, a boat’s gas tank and fuel line are prone to rust and damage, particularly while sitting in storage during winter? However, the gas tank will likely be fine if it was filled up before you stowed your boat at the end of the last boating season. Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent cracks on the fuel line, so check it and have it replaced immediately at the first sign of damage.
4. Top up the fluids
The coolant, engine oil, and transmission fluid must be topped up before you set sail this summer. It’s recommended that you fill the cooling system with water and antifreeze before the winter. So now that it’s time to take your boat out again, you’ll need to drain the remaining liquid and fill it with fresh coolant. And while you’re at it, check the hoses for cracks and leaks, and replace them if they’re damaged.
5. Check the propeller
Perhaps the most important part of any boat, the propeller needs to be in good condition before you leave the docks. A damaged propeller poses a danger, as well as potential damage to your boat’s drive train. You can prevent this by inspecting the propeller and each of its blades. Look for signs of dings, missing chunks, or bends, and check the propeller’s shaft to ensure it doesn’t wobble. If it does and the shaft is bent, make sure to get it repaired or replaced.
6. Pack safety gear and equipment
Once you’ve ensured that your boat is in tiptop condition, it’s time to prepare for your first sail in North Bay this summer. As a boat owner, there are a few more things you need to prepare in order to ensure a fun and safe water adventures.
Did you know that in Canada, boats are legally required to have a life jacket or personal floatation device on board for each person? That’s right—with safety paramount on boats, inspect your safety gear for holes and tears, and replace them as needed. Similarly, you must inspect the fire extinguisher, flares, horns, and whistles on board to ensure they’re functional.
7. Insure your boat with watercraft insurance
Do you carry the right insurance coverage for your boat? Don’t set sail without one. Watercraft insurance is essential to your safety, from the docks to the middle of Lake Nipissing and beyond. While you may be able to add a watercraft endorsement to your home insurance policy, the available liability coverage typically only applies to smaller recreational boats. If you have a bigger boat with higher horsepower and modifications, and for guaranteed comprehensive coverage, it’s best to have a standalone watercraft insurance policy.
Perhaps the most important part of getting ready for boat season in North Bay, you need watercraft insurance from a provider you can trust. At PAIB Insurance, we share your love of the water and can’t wait to get out on Lake Nipissing. That’s why our insurance brokers offer the most comprehensive and affordable watercraft insurance in North Bay, from insurance companies you trust. Get coverage for your boat, jet ski, or yacht, tailored to your needs and budget.
Getting your boat ready for summer in North Bay? Don’t leave the docks without watercraft insurance. Get the right coverage for your boat, jet ski, or yacht, expertly recommended by our insurance brokers. Contact PAIB Insurance today.
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