BLOG - High time for a safety check

By: David Lockwood, Photography by: David Lockwood

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  • Trade-A-Boat

As the boating season guns into life, NSW Maritime advise a maintenance check on your craft.

BLOG - High time for a safety check
Beware safety kit expiry dates.

This weekend, a long one in New South Wales, is officially the start of the new boating season. Yacht and motor clubs stage sail-pasts, regattas and chummy raft-ups right through to Monday afternoon, while anglers in tinnies and fibreglass fish boats flock to the ramps. It’s also when authorities ramp-up their patrols and enforce on-water rules and regulations. And when many boats break down through neglect.

To this end, NSW Maritime is staging an on-water campaign reminding boaters about the expiry dates on their essential safety kit. Among the many things that need checking for use-by or servicing dates are inflatable lifejackets, flares and EPIRBs. To assist with the task, the department has a new software program that generates servicing reminders. See here for more info.

Meantime, we got in early this year with some preventative maintenance, responding to a deal from a dive service. At this time of year, after a long winter, our antifouling is getting a tad long in the tooth. A dive to remove marine growth is money well spent, especially if you intend to motor anywhere. Less drag means greater efficiency and, with that, optimum fuel economy. Vroom vroom...

The divers also check the anodes which are necessary to ensure your engine doesn’t corrode away; examine the underwater raw-water fittings and clear blockages; and clean the blades on the bow thruster so it can do its job. Accompanying the condition report this time was a full suite of before-and-after digital underwater photos. Great service.

Next comes the annual engine and engineering service, but sailors might need their biennial rig check, too. Waterfront businesses this week say the season has already started, so you are well advised to book your boat in sooner rather than later.

The good news is that a lot of the dirty work – the cleaning and pre-season preparation – you can do yourself. Get yourself some deep buckets, different strength brushes, sponges and soaping gloves, a chamoise or two, a box of boat-cleaning products, clean cotton rags and go for it.

Make your boat ship shape for spring.


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