It’s that time again. Last month we published our Pre-Season Dewinterization checklist but after you have dewinterized and cleaned up your boat for the season you need to do the Semi-Annual Safety Check. The reason that we refer to it as semi-annual is that even when you have completed it in the spring, things seem to disappear over time. Just like all those mis-matched socks in your sock drawer.
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
- As part of your pre-departure inspection of PFDs check for wear or abrasion, weak or torn seams, secure straps and buckles. Some types of PFDs are equipped with inflation devices; check to be sure cartridges are secure and charged.
- Do you have all required quantities and types of fire extinguishers?
- Have they been checked within the past year?
- Are serviceable units tagged by a licensed facility?
- Are units accessible?
- Is at least one accessible from the helm or cockpit?
- Are you and your crew familiar with their operation?
- Is the system properly grounded at the filter, tank, deck, pump, etc.?
- Is the fuel tank free from rust or contamination?
- No leaks from tank, hose or fittings.
- Hoses U.S.C.G. approved and free of cracking or stiffness with adequate slack to account for vibration.
- Is tank secured?
- Fuel shut-off valve on tank and at engine.
- Engine compartment and engine clean and free of oily rags or flammable materials.
- Blower switch at remote location.
- Is your fuel system protected from siphoning?
- Lifelines or rails in good condition.
- Stanchions or pulpit securely mounted.
- Hardware tight and sealed at deck.
- Grab rails secure and free of corrosion or snags that may catch your hands.
- Non-skid surfaces free from accumulated dirt or excess wear.
- At least two anchors on board.
- Anchor and rode adequate for your boat and bottom conditions.
- Tackle properly secured.
- Length of chain at anchor.
- Thimble on rode and safety wired shackles.
- Chafing gear at chocks for extended stays or storm conditions.
- Anchor stowed for quick accessibility.
- Labeled and designated for marine use.
- Properly ventilated to remove carbon-monoxide from cabin.
- Retainers or rails for pots and pans while underway.
- If built-in, properly insulated and free from combustible materials, CNG and LPG (propane).
- Stored in separate compartment from boat’s interior and engine room.
- Tightly secured shut-off valve at tank.
- Proper labeling and cautions in place at tank location.
- Hoses, lines and fittings of approved and inspected type.
- Compartment is ventilated overboard and below level of tank base.
- Wiring approved for marine applications.
- System is neatly bundled and secured.
- Protected against chafing and strain.
- Adequate flex between bulkhead and engine connections.
- Clear of exhaust system and bilge.
- System is protected by circuit breakers or fuses.
- Grounds to Zincs if required.
- Wire terminals and connections sealed to prevent corrosion.
- Will pump(s) adequately remove water in emergency? Do you have a manual backup? Are bilges clean and free to circulate (clear limber holes)? Do you check bilges frequently and not rely on automatic pumps?
- Through-hulls, props, shafts, bearings, rudder fittings, and exposed fastenings free of non-destructive corrosion.
- Zincs are adequate to provide protection.
- Through-hulls are properly bonded.
- Inspect the steering cables, engine control linkage and cables, engine mounts and gear case for corrosion.
- These items are properly lubricated or painted to prevent undue corrosion.
- Strainers, intakes and exhaust or discharge fittings are free from restrictions such as barnacles, marine growth or debris.
- Inspect sea valves for smooth operation.
- Handles are attached to valves for quick closure.
- Hoses are in good condition and free from cracking.
- Double hose-clamps below the waterline.
- Anti-siphon valve fitted to marine toilet.
- Through-hull plugs are near fittings or attached to hose in case of emergency.
- Stored in non-corrosive, liquid tight, ventilated containers.
- Non-conductive covers are fitted over posts.
- Batteries are well secured.