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Boat Owners 101: How To Prepare for Boat Leaks

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Boat sales in 2022 are expected to surpass those in 2021 by up to 3%. With so many new boaters on the water, understanding boat maintenance is more important than ever. It’s essential to maintain safety and avoid boat leaks.

You should ask yourself if you know what to do if your boat is leaking or how to patch a boat leak.

In this article, we discuss these topics and more. Continue reading to improve safety and keep boating an enjoyable and stress-free hobby.

Keep Up With Boat Maintenance

One of the best ways to prepare for boat leaks is to follow routine boat maintenance tips. This includes checking the engine, electrical systems, moving parts, and the exterior as well as making repairs as needed.

Take Safety Seriously

If you’re wondering what to do if your boat is leaking, you should start by ensuring everyone is safe. Part of being a responsible boat owner is making sure everyone has a life jacket and knows what to do in an emergency.

Before every outing, you should go over a basic emergency plan that includes what to do if the boat is taking on water. This can help keep you and your passengers calm so you can decide what to do next.

Find Where Your Boat is Taking on Water

Knowing how to patch a boat leak isn’t helpful if you can’t find the leak, which means you should learn this first. A list of some common problem areas is included below.

  • Deck glands
  • Hull-deck joints
  • Chainplates
  • Deck fittings

If these aren’t the source of the problem, try to see if the water is freshwater, saltwater, or water contaminated with oil. You should also consider whether you might have damaged a part of your boat recently.

Invest in a Bilge Pump

A reliable bilge pump is one of the most important tools to have if your boat is taking on water. Medium and large-sized boats typically come equipped with an electric bilge pump that can be controlled with a switch.

Small boats should invest in a manual bilge pump, which is operated by hand. This is also a good option to store on larger boats if there are extensive boat leaks.

Have a Backup Plan

You shouldn’t rely on one solution such as regular boat maintenance or a bilge pump to prevent boat leaks. Another part of learning what to do if your boat is leaking is having a backup plan.

In addition to storing a backup manual bilge pump, you should also keep extra flotation devices on board. Larger boats may want to invest in an emergency raft as well.

Learn How To Patch a Boat Leak

The final step in preparing for boat leaks is to learn how to patch a boat leak. If you’re out in the water and need a temporary fix, an emergency patch kit is essential. Your kit should have tools to repair different-sized leaks.

Some options include waterproof caulk and repair patches. These can help stop small leaks quickly until you can make permanent repairs. The quicker you can stop the leak, the less risk of damage and danger to passengers.

Take Care of Boat Leaks Quickly

While preventing boat leaks is important, you also need to learn how to patch a boat leak if it happens. Keeping the right supplies on board and having an emergency plan can help avoid panic and stop leaks quickly.

For more helpful tips and guides, visit our blog.

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