Spring. If you’ve been waiting all winter to use your vessel, it can be absolutely wonderful. Lush, green grass, and trees everywhere. Warm air. Gentle breezes. Soft, rolling waves. This is the time of year that so many of us get our vessels out of storage and get out on the water – ready for the warm months to get here. While the primary focus of our USCG license renewal and documentation site is, well, documentation, we always want all vessel owners to be as safe as possible when going out on the water, any time of year.
What to Check Before You Take Your Vessel Out
Basically, “everything.” That’s especially true if it’s been since last fall/winter that you took your boat out. The fuel lines, the engine, and just about anything else that your boat relies on – that’s what you want to look at before you go out on the water. Better to know about a problem while you’re at shore versus having to deal with it out on the water, far from land.
How Long Has It Been Since You Looked at the Safety Equipment?
If the answer is “since fall at least” then you’re going to want to give that a thorough once-over, too. To be clear, “safety equipment” in this context refers to the personal flotation devices, flares, horns, and the like. But, it also includes your vessel’s lights, any kind of charger you have for your phones, your radio – anything that you’ll rely upon in an emergency. Again, check all of this before you leave the dock.
Assume Things Will Take a Bit Longer Than Usual
For many, this is the first time they’re taking their boat out in some time. It stands to reason that it’s going to be a bit more of an involved, length process than it might have been previously. It makes sense that it will take you some time to get up to speed. So, in the interest of safety, take your time. Make sure that someone on land has a detailed float plan, where you’re going, when you’ll be back, and more.
Prepare for the Weather to Change
Hopefully, where you are, when spring comes around, the weather is in the seventies and eighties with a gentle breeze constantly. However, and especially early in spring, that’s not the case. The weather can change on a dime, becoming more “winter” than “spring” very quickly. So, the safe response is to dress in layers. Having extra layers with you, that you can throw on at a moment’s notice, is a great idea. Just make sure that your personal flotation device fits over them.
USCG License Renewal and More Throughout the Year
Did you take care of all of your vessel documentation during the winter months? If you didn’t, that’s no problem. Now is the perfect time to get all of that done. At our site, Vessel Documentation Online you can find all of the forms you’ll need to be in compliance no matter what. If you have questions, we can answer them at (866) 981-8783.