By Capt. Carl Kelly
It is important for boaters to have their boat safety checked regularly.
Equipment corrodes and otherwise deteriorates rapidly around salt water and then fails to function properly. Boats that are not used for long periods of time will tend to have problems that boats used regularly do not usually exhibit. Before going on an extended cruise it is wise to safety check and do preventive maintenance.
One can expect occasional equipment failures on boats. Depending on the failure, the resulting situation may be no more than an inconvenience. Or, it may put you in violation of state and federal laws. And, it may also be very dangerous.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons both provide free vessel safety checks. Or, you may prefer to have your mechanic or your friendly local marina staff “safety check” your boat.