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As the season shifts from blustery, cold mode and you find yourself peeling back the layers of fleece to soak in the midday sun, it may well be time, to get ‘BOAT READY’ and break out of winter hibernation.

To get you thinking of the prep needed for fun boating days ahead, here are a few items that may make the job a little easier.

"GET YOUR BOAT READY" Checklist (applicable to most boats).

Safety Equipment

State laws require that boats carry specific items of safety equipment, which varies depending on the size and type of craft. Be sure to know the requirements for your own boat and keep upbeats any changes to regulations, on your local maritime safety authority website. Equipment can include PFDs or lifejackets, flares, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and fire extinguishers. You need to look for any signs of deterioration or corrosion and check expiry dates on the flares and extinguisher, as well as the EPIRB battery. NOTE: If you have a Dry Chemical Powder extinguisher (red with a white stripe), give it a good shake to free any powder that may have settled over the winter.

Check you have the mandatory equipment according your states Maritime Authority regulations.

A guide for each state authority available here AUSTRALIAN BOATING GUIDES.

Check these boating essentials

  • fire extinguishers and emergency flares: use-by dates
  • batteries: check condition and readiness
  • fuel filters and other components need to be monitored. It is a good policy to replace fuel filters prior to commencing a new boating season. With prolonged times out of action, moisture can build up in the fuel tank, contaminating the fuel. 
  • Life jackets/PFDs: Check to ensure you have enough life jackets or personal flotation devices for the capacity of your boat and that all are in good condition. Make sure that mildew or mould has not taken hold during the lay- off period.

Note: Inflatable jackets should be serviced every year to make sure the gas system will function when you need it. Also, you can check the inflation bladder by blowing it up with the mouthpiece and looking for bubbles while immersed in a sink or tub.

Other Mandatory Equipment

  • Torch on board, with batteries in good condition
  • First aid kit to make sure itʼs complete, well-sealed and that its contents comply with their use-by dates.
  • Whistle / Bell / Airhorn
  • Paddles or oars and rowlocks
  • Bailer bucket with lanyard 

Tenders, Canoes and Kayaks

  • Any leaks or suspicious seepage run lines in aluminium tenders?  Be vigilant and attend to repairs to polyethylene and ABS canoes and kayaks, wooden boats, and household and sporting equipment.

Outboard engines

  • If you have, a less than ideal, storage situation, it would pay to check for small nests and unwanted debris. Make sure the wiring, breather valves and vents havenʼt been compromised.
  • Connections: ensure they are firm and that there are no signs of corrosion or leakage.
  • Trim controls: check all working smoothly
  • Start her up: set the engine up in a suitable water filled bin/container and run briefly to ensure fuel and electrical systems are working properly and that your batteries are fully charged. While your engine is running, check for a steady stream from the water pump tell-tale. You might find the flow interrupted from debris clogging the outlet or from impeller blades that may have seized during storage. You can clean the inlet with a fine piece of wire or a paper clip to unclog any blockage. Replace the impeller, if necessary. Generally speaking, many outboard engine service centres offer winter specials, so it is worthwhile calling around to see whatʼs on offer. Inboards or sterndrive engine compartments
  • Compartment checks: Any puddles of fuel or oil in the bilge or lower compartments? Look for any sign of fuel leakage. If there is any evidence of fuel leakage, do not attempt to start the engine and consult your local marine service experts immediately.
  • Hose fittings/connections/drive belts: visually check for any signs of deterioration or corrosion, especially on electrical fittings and connections.
  • Oil levels: check and look for signs of contamination, such as milky-white discolouration.
  • Sea strainer: check for any signs of debris.
  • Coolant level: if you have a freshwater-cooled engine
  • If your boat is fitted with a ‘gensetʼ, you should apply all the above checks to it, too. 

Through-the-hull fittings

  • Lift up floorboards and hatches that allow you to go below deck lines and check for signs of corrosion or seepage. Shut-off valves should be worked to ensure proper operation. These fittings are critical and failure can lead to loss of the boat.

Navigation lights

  • Ensure that all navigation and other lights are working. Even if you do not frequent the water before dawn or after sunset, you may be caught out one day. Knowing your line up of switches will be advantageous should other challenges arise.

Boat Canopies and Bimini Covers

  • Do you have sufficient "cover" on you boat?  Boat canopies offer shade and increased comfort to those on board and can also provide some protection from the rain.  Sunburn and dehydration from extended exposure to the Australian sun can ruin your day on the water. Biminis are a valuable addition to your boat, increasing boating enjoyment.  Biminis can also be attached to inflatables and RIBS, with clever mounting solutions by Railblaza. 

Boat Seats Australia

We get many enquiries each week related to boat seats. Normally these are from customers looking to upgrade their existing seats which may be worn or weathered. Others want a simple seat to make their tinnie more comfortable. And some are commercial boat builders or operators requiring high-quality seating solutions and suspension pedestals for large [...]

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Mounting Biminis on Inflatables & Ribs

We get contacted reasonably often by people wondering how they can mount a bimini onto a rib (or inflatable tender). Obviously screwing or riveting in deck mounts is out of the question.Thankfully clever company RailBlaza has a solution. You start with Railblaza's advesive RIBPORTS or RIBMOUNT CLEAT PORTS. These bond to PVC, hypalon, fibreglass and aluminium using a [...]

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Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates make the perfect present for the "boatie" in your life. Ideal for Birthdays, Christmas, Work Colleagues, Leaving Gifts, Mothers Day & Fathers Day. Let them choose from thousands of products to be sure they get exactly what they want.How It WorksOrder Gift Certificates online, or call us on 02 9450 2912 to purchase [...]

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Honda Outboard Motor Covers are Here!

After a long wait The Boat Warehouse is delighted to bring you a range of quality  Honda outboard motor covers. Initially the range is limited to vented cowl covers, but soon full motor covers and outboard storage covers will be joining the Honda lineup. Designed, developed and tested in Australia by Oceansouth, the new Honda vented outboard [...]

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Next Generation RULE Bilge Pumps

The RULE brand builds on over 50 years of operational excellence and application expertise with a range of pumping solutions for the marine industry. The latest solution is the Next generation of genuine Rule submersible bilge pumps providing the ultimate pumping performance to keep the boat's bilge clear of nuisance water. NEXT Generation Rule bilge pumps come in  non-automatic [...]

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Boat Covers Now Available in Black

The popular range of Oceansouth boat covers has recently been extended from Grey to include Black in some styles, and the new colour is proving very popular. Check out our range of boat covers to see if black is available for your boat.As summer draws to a close and we head into winter it's a good time [...]

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Zhik Boating Gear - Made for Water

Zhik Australia is the latest big brand to join The Boat Warehouse, and we're delighted to be able to bring  Zhik's range of incredible high-tech products to our customers. In line with The Boat Warehouse's pricing policy, Zhik products will be priced considerably below RRP and further price reductions will be available to sailing clubs and [...]

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GME Marine Electronics

The Boat Warehouse is pleased to announce that we are now a reseller for Australian manufacturer GME. We will stock GME's full Marine range at razor-sharp prices, as our customer have come to expect. GME is recognised as a leading innovator of technology used in EPIRBs, VHF marine radios and many other products. GME's creations are [...]

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Follow The Boat Warehouse on Facebook

To be the first to hear about special deals, discounts and new product announcements - like us on Facebook.  Surplus stock and special deals from our suppliers are announced on Facebook.

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