Preparing for Your Boat's Maiden Voyage

It's getting close to taking your boat out.  Peake and McInnis LTD would like to share these tips with you!

The first cruise of the year is something special. 

PEI BoatingMaybe she has been sitting all winter and you need to get her ready. Perhaps you have just bought her and plan to show her off to friends and family. You'll want to make out a check list of things to do to make sure she is ready. Here are some tips to ensure your maiden voyage goes off without a hitch this year.

  1. Check Boat Insurance
    Did you suspend some of the insurance coverage for the off-season? If so, make certain it is reinstated before you take off. If you just purchased the boat, contact your boat insurance broker to make sure you have sufficient coverage.
  2. Fire Extinguishers
    Do you have enough fire extinguishers onboard? If this is not your first season, check to make sure the extinguishers are not outdated. Are all the extinguishers accessible and does everyone know how to use them?
  3. Electrical System
    After sitting all winter, batteries may be weak or wiring may be loose or cracked. Make sure that someone inspects these things.
  4. Tools Onboard
    Bring a tool box with all the essentials. Include duct and electrical tape, screwdrivers, cutters, and anything else you may need.
  5. First Aid Kit
    Check your first aid kit to be sure no one has borrowed anything from it. There should be plenty of bandages, disinfectant, and hand cleaner.
  6. Extras
    Here are some important extras or spares to bring:
    • Fuses
    • Fuel
    • Oil
    • Filters
    • Bathroom (head) supplies
    • Light bulbs
  7. Communication Gear
    Bring a communications radio and check it out beforehand. Also, have a weather radio, and if you own a GPS device it's a good idea to bring it. You'll also want to bring emergency communication devices in case you get into trouble, such as:
    • On board air horn
    • Portable air horns
    • Whistles
    • Signal flares
    • Flashlights
    • Flood lights
    Make sure everyone knows where the emergency devices are located.
  8. Docking
    Check your anchor and anchor line for problems. Bring an extra dock line or two in case you encounter rough weather. Bring fenders in case you need to be towed. This will protect your vessel from damage.
  9. Christening Your Vessel
    Some seagoing people have superstitions and it is important to properly christen the boat if you and your passengers wish to enjoy good luck while you own her. In fact, it's considered good boating insurance by many. Here are some helpful christening ceremony tips:
    • Invite everyone who will be riding her
    • Buy a bottle of champagne and give everyone (old enough to drink) a glass - it's a good idea to use plastic glasses.
    • Write or look up some good christening ceremonial words and someone (preferably a woman) should recite them and then everyone toasts to the vessel. Some people like to pour a little champagne over her bow to appease Neptune, god of the sea and if you place a branch filled with green leaves on her deck it is supposed to guarantee you will return safely.
    • Breaking the bottle at launch is optional and should only be done if conditions and local authorities allow it.

Be sure to read our 8 Boat and Yacht Safety Tips for the Maritimes for more boating safety information!

Your PEI Boat Insurance Experts

Peake and McInnis LTD specializes in boat insurance for PEI.  We make sure you have the comfort and confidence you need to enjoy your time on the water with friends and family.  Contact us today for your free quote!

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