How to Prepare Your Boat for Spring
For boat owners, there will always be a time in the year where the boat needs to be taken out of storage and sent back onto the water. This is usually during spring. However, there is the matter of proper maintenance. If you just store your boat and send it back to the waters without any preparation, you’re likely to reduce its lifespan and you’ll have a rickety, dangerous boat instead of a safe voyage.
If you want to avoid the hassle (and potential life-threatening situation), here are some tips on how to prepare your boat for spring.
Get Ready for the Upcoming Season
It’s not just the boat that needs preparation for spring. You might also want to see if you are ready for the season ahead. For starters, you might want to sign up for a boat safety course. This is the perfect time to obtain a boating certificate if you don’t have one yet.
Next, you should take the time to sit down and brush up on your familiarity with the boat, especially if you haven’t used it for a long time. The best way to start is by bringing out the boat’s owner’s manual and consulting it for the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures. Furthermore, you should check the boat itself and refamiliarize yourself with its components and any features it may have.
Get a Technician or Mechanic to Perform a Maintenance or Tune-Up
It is always a smart idea to leave things to the professionals. In the case of preparing your boat for spring, you can opt to hire a technician or mechanic to take a look at your boat, just to see if there are tune-ups or repairs needed. Make sure you hire one who is certified by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) or a similar accreditation board. There are a number of things that need to be considered before you leave the dock:
- Inspection of all the safety equipment on board, which includes flares, personal flotation devices, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, etc.
- Checking if all the important parts of the boat are functioning, such as the lights and the motor.
- Checking for any issues with the electricals, and whether the battery is functioning, charged, and properly secured.
- Ensuring that there’s no excess water in the bilge.
- Checking of the fuel levels, and inspection of the fuel tank for any leaks or dents.
Practice Getting In and Out of the Water Safely
It may sound simple and unnecessary, but many lives could have been saved if the boat owner only spent their time practicing getting in and out of the water safely. This includes the proper observation of launching, checking the engine temperature and mentally preparing on what to do in case it is overheating, and training oneself and the boat passengers on safe boating practices. Make sure you go over these before the boat even touches the water.
Always Remember That Every Boat is Unique
To get your boat water-ready in time for spring, you also need to remember that each boat is unique and each one will have different needs and requirements, whether due to its size, manufacturer, model, etc. Make sure you have access to all pertinent information and keep it memorized in case the information becomes necessary during the trip. Once you have everything prepared, it may finally be time to enjoy a fun and safe boating season.
Insurance for Your Motorcycle
Motorcycle owners know how important it is to practice defensive driving and observe safety while out on the road. But this does not completely remove the possibility of an accident from happening, so motorcycle owners still need to consider their options in case an accident does occur. Motorcycle insurance coverage is thus a must, and there are no exceptions. This is particularly true for people who live in states that require bikers to have liability motorcycle insurance. Some states go one step further and even require personal injury protection.
Minimizing the Cost of Motorcycle Insurance
The price of motorcycle insurance is sometimes higher than other types of insurance, because mototcycles are considered higher risk compared to other vehicles. The principle is simple enough: drivers of a car are protected by a steel cage, a seat belt, and an airbag so they are more likely to survive a head on collision compared to a motorcycle driver. The extent of injuries tend to be worse in a motorcycle accident.
This is backed by statistics – the National Highway Safety Administration reveals that motorcyclists have a higher fatality rate compared to passengers of a car, and that the number of motorcyclists being injured has been rising since 2007.
So if you want to lower the cost of your motorcycle insurance, you should consider the following tips:
Take Advantage of Seasonal Policies
There are motorcycle owners who don’t use their bikes all year-round. If you fall in this category, you can save a huge amount by only insuring your motorcycle during the times of the year when it is in use. Check with your insurer if they offer seasonal policies.
Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
This is not meant to insult your driving ability. Even if you already know your bike and can ride it even with your eyes closed, it is still a good idea to take a motorcycle safety course. This is because some insurance companies appreciate it when the bike owners make an effort to ensure their own safety, and as such are willing to give discounts or lower rates to motorcycle owners who are regularly brushing up on their driving and safety skills.
Increase Your Deductibles
Deductibles are the amount that you have to pay before the coverage kicks in. Insurance companies will provide lower premiums if you have higher deductibles. Since you are not planning on getting into an accident, the deductibles are usually safe to increase. Make sure that you can actually absorb the amount of deductible you choose, in case you get into the worst-case scenario.
Get Multiple Vehicle Discounts
If you have more than one bike or you live with someone who owns a motorcycle as well, you should talk to your insurance agent and see if they offer a multiple vehicle discount. You can then split the premium with your housemate. You can also do the alternative, which is to get your motorcycle and home insurance from the same company. They will be more than willing to give you a discount for the added business.
Maintain a Good Driving Record
Finally, you should make an effort to be careful with your driving. Insurance companies will check your driving history and use it when determining your premium. And they are not just looking at the motorcycle driving history, they will also check your car driving history as well since it is a good representation of how you treat your bike. This will end up a win-win situation for you as well. If you maintain good driving habits, chances are you will never end up collecting on your insurance, which means you stay safe and healthy.