What Not To Do Before Launching Your Boat
Ladders are a common sight at boatyards each spring. BoatUS says they are also a source of injuries.BoatUS
The weather is starting to warm up across North America and boaters are anxious to get out on the water for the season but before they launch the boat there is always a little maintenance that needs to be done. If you are not careful there are a number of ways to hurt yourself or do damage to your boat. Here is a list of things to not do while prepping your boat for the new season from BoatUS Marine Insurance:#1 Don't overload the ladder:
At any marina each spring, ladders are as common a sight as channel markers on the ICW. Up. Down. All day long, boaters scramble on ladders to bring up supplies, fix things and prep their boat. Carrying heavy things, however, sometimes causes ladders to buckle. Lesson: have your own ladder and know its safe carrying load. It is also good to never face forward or have two persons on one at the same time, and understand that loose footwear such as flip-flops can snag on a ladder rung quicker than dragging a treble hook over Grandma's shag carpeting.#2 Jack stand missing:
Painting the bottom of the boat to prevent marine growth is a common task for coastal boaters. However, there's always a section on the hull where you can't paint, usually where the jack stand supports the hull. Removing the jack stand to finish the paint job, however, almost always leads to an unstable boat, and using your shoulder to hold up the boat will get you to the emergency room pretty quickly. Lesson: Have the yard put the boat in a sling to finish the last few spots, or ask to have them add extra stands first (do not do this on your own).#3 Trailer tires not blocked:
A trailer boater was working on his boat at home in the driveway when the trailer suddenly lurched forward due to the man's weight shifting on deck, causing him to fall - ouch! - to the pavement below. Lesson: Block the wheels every time, all of the time.#4 All come tumbling down:
Every boater likes a shiny, waxed boat. What we don't like is to have to constantly move the ladder while using a heavy buffer on the gel coat. So we reach, we stretch, we lean so far out that the unbalanced ladder now tips sending us tumbling down, resulting in broken bones. Lesson: It's worth the extra time to ensure the ladder is always on a solid footing and secured to the boat, and don't over extend.