Although many of us boaters are eager to get back out on the water, we think that it’s essential to complete a thorough check before setting off. After all, most boats have been untouched for months so ensuring you do a full maintenance check and have the right safety equipment is important.
Canals Online recommend that boat owners follow these simple steps:
- Take extra care to access their craft safely and in accordance with government guidance on travel and social distancing.
- Carry out a check to ensure that their craft has remained seaworthy and mechanically sound. In particular check for fuel contamination resulting from condensation in the tank(s) blocked filters and fuel lines etc. Most insurance policies do not cover claims which arise because the vessel has not been maintained and is unseaworthy.
- Check that emergency equipment such as Lifejackets, flares, VHF radio, PLBs etc are still in working order and remain in date.
- Give due regard to the prevailing and forecast weather conditions.
- Pay due consideration to the risk that their activities may result in their having to depend on emergency services particularly at a time when social distancing is impacting on lifeboat crews, Coast Rescue Teams etc.
- Bear in mind that some marine leisure facilities in the area may still be closed and therefore unavailable. Always ring ahead of your journey to save you from a wasted journey.
- Make sure you always have a means of calling for help (such as a VHF radio or mobile phone in a waterproof pouch) and keep it within reach.
Breakdowns are always more likely following a long break in cruising – so our advice would be to make sure you have narrowboat breakdown insurance cover in place as a fall back – from only £85 or £100 to include recovery of your canal boat to a safe location within 2 hours cruising.