purchasing a second-hand boat, ensure that the hull is in good condition. Wood
- look for rotting. Fibreglass - look for osmosis. Aluminium - look for rivet
damage or corrosion around electrical components.
are a failure free way to ensure you get in if all other mechanical or electrical
means fail. Make certain that rowlocks are greased and in sound condition. Carry
at least one spare rowlock.
- Fit pike friendly floor
covering that also has non-slip properties.
the engine is securely fitted to the transom before setting off. If it is not
bolted in place fit a safety chain that is strong enough to support the weight
of the engine. Use the 'kill switch'.
- If your boat
is too large to row, always fit an auxiliary motor in case of main motor failure.
An electric motor is NOT an auxiliary.
- If you intend
to fish very large waters fit a small cuddy, with or without a roof, to the boat
as it will act as a deflector plate in rough weather. A roofless cuddy will allow
easier access to the bow of the boat for anchor retrieval purposes.
sure you have adequate insurance cover - both for towing and third party cover
in case of an accident while afloat.
- Do not use an outboard that
exceeds the power rating for your boat, this is very dangerous and can cause fatal
- Ensure that petrol tanks and connections
don't leak as spilled petrol can cause fire and also cause damage to the captured
- Always carry plenty of petrol and two stroke
oil (if required) and always use standard petrol containers with properly fitting
caps. A funnel is also handy to prevent spillage when refilling is needed.
- It is essential that the mixture ratios of oil to petrol
are maintained as too much oil can be as harmful as too little. If your motor
plugs oil up when you are out in rough weather you can have a serious problem.
- Spare spark plugs, sheer pins, fuses and tool kit must
be carried in the boat - they are no use when left in the car. Keep all essential
tools and spares in a water proof box to prevent moisture damage.
- Carry a fire extinguisher in your boat.
electrical equipment (electric motors,sump pumps, through hull pumps etc.) must
be adequately fused or fitted with a suitable trip switch system to avoid the
risk of fire if unknowingly left in operation.
batteries and electrical switches or contacts away from the petrol tank as sparks
can cause fire.
- Ensure that all electrical cables
are secured using electrical ties or insulation tape as they are easy to trip
over if left unattended.
- Use good quality anchor ropes of a suitable diameter to
enable you to grip the rope with good purchase.
clips are recommended to permit anchor retrieval when stuck. Try not to tie the
rope at the front of the boat but fit a quick release clip. Attach a small buoy
to the anchor rope to enable it's later recovery if released in an emergency.
- Fit a "rope tidy" so loose or surplus rope can
be stored in safety and not strewn on the bottom of the boat.
(mainly concerning boats with steering consoles)
bolt your engine to the transom and don't rely solely on the G -clamps to make
the engine secure. If your motor dislodges at speed you have big problems.
- Ensure that the remote and steering cables are well greased
and free from rust. Check that the connections to the motor are well secured as
they can cause major problems if they come adrift during operation at speed.
- Always fit a control system which has the normal safety
features fitted so the engine will not start when it is in gear, or the throttle
Launching and Recovering
- Make sure the drain plug is in place before launching!
- When pushing a boat off a trailer with the winch strap
connected, keep away from the winch handle which revolves very fast.
that all winch straps or ropes are in good condition and that there is no fraying.
- Ensure that the winch on your trailer is rated as suitable
for the weight of your boat, and that the winch is securely fixed to the trailer.
- Make sure the anti-reverse is engaged on the winch before
starting to recover the boat.
It is important that the winching fixture on
the bow of the boat is firmly secured. If this bracket pulls out during retrieval
it can cause all kinds of damage to the wincher and leave you in the predicament
of not being able to get the boat on the trailer.
all rollers and check that they rotate easily.
- Carry two spare hubs with bearings and two spare
tyres for the trailer.
- Grease your bearings regularly,
or after two trips, and always check bearing slackness with the weight of the
trailer off the ground using an hydraulic jack, NOT a car jack. If you lose a
tyre or bearing on the outside of the motorway you may end up with no boat at
all and put yourself at great risk.
- An anti-bounce
tie on the bow in addition to the winch rope on the front of the boat is recommended
to reduce movement during transit on rough roads.
all tie-downs are in good condition.
- Check trailer
board lights before setting off on a journey.
certain that your anchor is stowed correctly in transit, either in the vehicle
or securely in the boat. Many an angler has arrived at the water to find a hole
in the boat and no anchor present.
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based on information provided by Chris Donovan.