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Sail into Summer 2023: Essential Tips to Gear Up for Boating Season

Story by Staff Writer, March 18, 2023 4:45 PM EST - Buffalo, NY

The 2023 boating season is just around the corner, and it's time to prepare your vessel for an enjoyable and safe summer on the water. As an avid boater, you know that pre-season preparations are essential to ensure that your boat is in top condition and that you are ready for hitting the water. In this article, we'll outline some tips and best practices for getting ready for the boating season in 2023.

yacht on ocean

Annual Inspection Checklist

Before you head out on the water, it's crucial to thoroughly inspect your boat and perform any necessary maintenance. Here are some key areas to focus on:

✅Hull and Deck

Check for cracks, dents, or other signs of damage. Pay special attention to the areas around fittings, as they are more prone to leakage. Repair any damage and reseal fittings as needed.

✅Engine and Fuel System

Inspect your engine, fuel lines, and fuel tanks for leaks or signs of wear. Replace or repair any damaged parts. Check the oil and change it if necessary. Ensure that the cooling system is functioning properly and that the exhaust system is free of obstructions.

✅Electrical System

Examine all wiring, connectors, and switches for signs of corrosion, wear, or damage. Replace or repair any faulty components. Test the batteries and charging system to ensure they are in good working order.

✅Safety Equipment

Inspect your life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment to ensure they are in good condition and meet all regulatory requirements. Replace or service any items that are expired or damaged.

It is absolutely essential to practice safe boating at all times, we recommend contacting a local marina near you to discuss boat storage and seasonal prep options.

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Further recommendations

Going the extra mile now can help keep you prepared for any situation.

Clean and Detail Your Boat

After a long winter, your boat may be looking a little worse for wear. Give it a thorough cleaning inside and out to remove dirt, grime, and any accumulated algae or barnacles. This will not only make your boat more pleasant to be on (algae can cause serious stink!), but it will also help to extend the life of your vessel and its components. Consider waxing the exterior to protect the finish and prevent oxidation.

Update and Test Your Navigation Equipment

Ensure that your navigation equipment, such as GPS devices and chart plotters, are up to date with the latest software and charts. This will help you navigate more accurately and safely during the boating season. Also, verify that your compass is calibrated and in good working order. Test your VHF radio, cell phone, or satellite phone to ensure that they are working properly and that you can communicate effectively in case of an emergency. It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the proper VHF radio etiquette and emergency procedures.

Review Boating Rules and Regulations

Before hitting the water, take some time to review the boating rules and regulations in your area. This includes speed limits, wake zones, and safety requirements. Make sure you have the necessary permits and licenses for your boat and any activities you plan to participate in, such as fishing or watersports.


Taking the time to plan now before hitting the water ensures a smooth sailing experience and helps prevent unexpected issues during the boating season. Proper preparation not only guarantees the safety and comfort of you and your passengers but also extends the life of your vessel. And as a final reminder, don't forget to review your boat insurance policy to safeguard your investment. Visit Encompass Agency to explore our comprehensive coverage options tailored to meet the unique needs of boaters like you. Set sail with confidence, knowing you're well-prepared and protected for the adventures ahead. #SmoothSailingAhead


Looking to insure your boat?

Connect with an Encompass agent to start your quote.

Available 9-4 EST Monday through Friday Serving the East Coast of the United States


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