There are a number of important steps to check before you leave port, such as the weather, fuel and the condition of the boat. These checks will certainly make your journey a lot easier and avoid potential problems along the way. Having a proper captain is essential and driving a boat isn’t always child’s play. Make sure the person who will be in charge has the proper skills and certifications. If not, you can always hire a boat with a skipper. In this article, we give you 5 essential steps to follow during your boat rental hand-over.
1) Check the weather conditions
Now that you have chosen a boat that suits your needs for a perfect trip, it is almost time to set sail. Before doing so, the first essential step is to check the weather conditions. This is very important! You don’t want to find yourself caught in the middle of a windstorm. There are plenty of mobile applications you can download and many different weather forecast platforms that are great for predicting the weather. We recommend you check the weather regularly, not just once a week prior to departure. Indeed conditions can change pretty quickly at sea. Check out our article listing the best sailing apps to plan your boat trip in good conditions!
2) Check the tides
Similarly to the weather forecast, you want to check the local tides before departure. This is an essential step, as it is important to understand the functioning of the rise and fall of the tides. This phenomenon occurs daily with different coefficients every day. A high tidal coefficient means the difference between low and high tide is larger. Tides can cause very strong currents as the ocean retracts itself and vice versa. You can do so by contacting your local harbour master’s office.
3) Check your equipment
One of the most important things to do before you go on your boat trip is to check the boat’s equipment. It’s important to check the capacity of the boat as it can only fit a number of people. Indeed, all additional passengers may be left without mandatory equipment such as life vests for example. Life vests should suit the different weights. For instance, children need life vests that are adapted to their morphology. Other safety equipments include a compass, red flares and navigation maps. Make sure the boat is equipped with everything that is mandatory in your area and for the type of activity you plan on doing.
4) Check the fuel
Now that you are aware of the tides, you have all the equipment that you need and the weather forecast is looking good, you are almost ready to head out! Although, you are not going anywhere without enough fuel for your boat trip. Check the fuel tank. If there is a strong and consistent smell of gasoline while opening the trapdoor, it might be a sign that there is a leak, this can be quite dangerous with electrical starters. Be sure that you have enough gas for your trip, it’s always better to have more than necessary! Check with the owner if you need to replenish the tank before checkout.
5) Check the boat’s condition
An inventory check is very important before renting your boat and is the last essential step. You’ll usually go through it with the owner, but we think it’s good to know a few things in case. The motor requires the most attention, the helix should be in good condition and you want to make sure to note the small dents and scratches. You also want to turn the motor on and make sure that it is functioning correctly. Make sure to point out all the small details, bumps and scuffs around the boat, this will save you a lot of time and money in case something goes wrong!
Now that you have completed all of these checks, you are ready to head out for a beautiful trip on a boat. Enjoy the sunshine and make the most out of this memorable experience!