At long last, the harsh winter is over, and we’re getting into spring. Spring will soon fade into summer, and there’s no better way to enjoy warm weather than on the water. If you haven’t invested in an inflatable boat already, you should do so. They provide convenient, luxurious freedom on any body of water.
If you already have an inflatable boat, then it’s time to get it ready for summer. The following four ways to prepare will ensure your boat is as ready to hit the water as you are.
Clean Your Boat
If you’ve just invested in an inflatable boat, then it’s probably already clean. Beloved used boats that you plan to take out of storage will need a quick clean, though. You can clean your boat while it’s still deflated from storage, or you can inflate it.
Since you’ll need to inflate it eventually, you may as well do so for cleaning. Many people find it easier to clean an inflated boat as well. Mix warm water with a mild soap for the safest cleaning experience. You can use a cloth or sponge to apply the soapy water. Rinse the soap off and dry the boat completely before proceeding.
Check Your Valves, Plugs, and Safety Equipment
After you clean your boat, you need to check that it’s safe to use. Check the valves and plugs that keep your boat inflated. Once those are safe and ready for use on the water, check your safety equipment and accessories.
You should have a life jacket for yourself and additional ones for anyone else you plan to keep on board. You should also have a life ring, fire extinguisher, visual distress signal, sound signaling device, anchor, and line. Not all states require all this safety equipment, but they are helpful for boaters at all experience levels.
Run Your Engine
Your boat is clean and safe, but you can’t jump in the water just yet. Your engine hasn’t had any exercise during the winter, and you need to run it before getting out into the water. Get your boat in the water near the launch ramp and turn your engine on.
If the engine doesn’t turn on immediately, don’t panic. Some engines are slow to start in cold weather and are still adjusting to the summer weather—just like people. Once the engine starts, listen as it runs. Strange sounds such as clicking or loud vibrating could mean something is wrong.
Have a professional take a look before you get out on the water. Hiring a professional for repairs is a crucial inflatable dinghy boat maintenance tip, so don’t hesitate to seek outside help before the season starts.
Verify Your Registration
Some states require boating registration on all types of recreational boats, from inflatables to kayaks to sailboats. Most last for over a year, so if you registered your boat last year, then you’re in the clear. However, if it’s been a few years or this is your first time putting this boat on the water, then you need to register it.
After registering your boat, you’re finished getting your inflatable boat ready for summer. You can safely enjoy your summer on the water in your new or beloved watercraft.