During such testing times where COVID-19 has permanently altered our daily lives, we must be extra cautious with activities such as boating. You may wonder how COVID-19 will affect safe boating? Well, whether on land or surfing on water, we have to be mindful of certain rules and regulations to stay safe in all scenarios. To prepare your boat for ideal boating across the various lakes of Canada, you must acquaint yourself with a few smart solutions to not land in a messy situation.
Summers are here, and we all desire a swift ride in the serene waters of the lake with our family and friends. To start preparing for your sail, you must go through the checklist we have curated for you to see to it that you do not face any inconvenience while on board. You do not want to spoil the tranquillity of boating, do you?
Once you take out your boat for rowing, you will notice time has grown on your vessel, and it may need repair or a check through to ensure it is functioning correctly. Here are a few suggestive ways to make sure your boat is in a working condition.
The hull of the boat is the portion which comes in direct contact with water. All rowers must ensure the boat’s hull is free of holes, cracks and crevices. The rower must do this before they begin their journey on the water to ensure the safety of all passengers on board. Even if you come across slight damage, call for repair services and get it repaired. To sail stress-free, you must be well prepared from your front.
One of the essential jobs before taking your boat for a sail is to check for:
Checking every portion of your boat before it sets sail is a significant step. You never know which part will require your immediate attention. The inspection includes checking your boat’s propellers, sail, hull, shafts, nuts and pins.
Before leaving, check the boat’s throttle control and ensure it is working fine. You do not want to struggle with the control on-board later, do you?
It is crucial to check the lines and hoses to ensure they are in working condition. Even if there is minor wear and tear, we suggest you change the lines with fresh ones as soon as possible to avoid accidents later. Along with pipes and hoses, ensure that your electrical wires and connections are in good condition. Loose or frayed connections are risky and must be replaced or repaired as soon as possible.
Checking your navigation light is more critical if you plan to row at night. If your lights are dysfunctional, it will create a problem for you to navigate your path in the dark. Therefore, to avoid any mishaps in water, it is best to check all your lights and change them if needed. Even flickering or dim lights are as good as useless because they offer poor visibility.
Remember to check and properly clean your engine before setting off for the journey. A clean engine offers longevity and allows more air to pass through the machine. Whether driving a car or rowing a boat, you must always check and replace your engine oil. Gasoline engines require their oil to be changed every 100 hours post running hours. Changing the oil ensures the engine’s longevity.
How long has it been since you have checked your boat’s filters? Do not forget to check and replace your fuel and air filters if needed.
One of the most common mistakes committed by boaters is not to check their engine charging capacity. Make sure you do not skip on this routine check. Also, inspect your alternators and gauges before hitting the lakes. If you are going for a short trip, your battery must hold a reasonable charge for 24 hours. It is best to check the battery charge before you plan your trip so that your outing is not spoilt in case of engine malfunction.
Last but not least, do not forget to keep your boat driving license. There are times when water police or security asks for the boater’s license. It is best if you travel well-equipped, and by well-equipped, we mean carrying your boat license. If you still haven’t received your boating license, you can enrol in reputable training schools for boat licenses in Ontario.
Read More: Your Boat Maintenance Checklist: Make Your Boat Summer Ready
Before diving into your boating adventure, learn about the place you plan to visit. Given the pandemic, you never know if the place is shut or available to the public. Always ask and confirm before you plan your trip to a lake. Also, avoid boating in areas that are witnessing a rise in cases or have been cordoned off for safety purposes.
Before stepping out of your house, check whether you are fully equipped to step out in a pandemic situation. Are you wearing your mask? Are you carrying sanitiser? Are you maintaining one arm’s distance from everyone? These are some of the primary questions you need to ask yourself. As per the rule of the CDC, one must wear a mask to adequately cover their nose and mouth in places where social distancing is difficult. Ensure you have your mask on when you are on the dock or loading your vessel. Once you are inside the boat and have begun your sail, you may open your mask. Also, when you anchor your boat, make sure your vessel is not touching or is very close to other waterway users.
It is best to sanitize your boat thoroughly before you step on it. Even if your boat has been resting for long, proper cleaning is a must to ensure hygiene. As per the rules laid down by the CDC, any surface that is prone to touch must be disinfected and adequately cleaned for safe use. If you possess a boat license in Ontario and are planning to go out for rowing, make sure you carry an EPA-approved hand sanitizer with you and wipe out areas of the boat that are prone to touch.
After you are done cleaning, avoid touching your face until you have thoroughly cleaned your hands.
Whether on the boat or land, washing hands must be an unsaid rule. During such testing times as this pandemic, the least we can do as responsible adults is keep our hands clean and sanitized. By merely washing and sanitizing your hands, you are helping curb the spread of infection. Although constantly washing your hands with soap may not be feasible on the boat, you can surely use sanitizer instead. It would be best to ask your fellow passengers on board to do the same.
More Read: Boating & COVID-19: Things You Need to Consider
While following boat safety instructions and abiding with COVID-19 protocols is vital, it is equally essential to be a well-trained boater with a valid license to row a boat. Sprint Driving School is the most preferred driving school in Toronto. Our highly skilled team of instructors will help you with all your questions related to boat licences in Ontario. You can contact us at 406.222.4190 to schedule an appointment with us or mail us your doubts at [email protected]. We will be happy to help you out!