FREMONT, Mich., March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan residents' love of boating should come as no surprise considering the unprecedented access that is available to waterways. In addition to four Great Lakes, Michigan also offers 11,037 inland lakes, 36,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 700 access sites. With so many people taking to the waters however – Michigan has more than 800,000 boats registered – there is also the potential for costly accidents. Each spring boaters have a responsibility to make sure their launches don't turn into disasters.
"Every year at the beginning of the season we see a series of incidents that could easily have been avoided with a little advance preparation," said Kurt Dettmer, vice president of marketing and sales for Fremont Insurance.
Fremont Insurance urges boaters to complete the following checklist before launching a boat for the first time each season to ensure a fun and safe adventure on Michigan waters:
- Inspect your life jackets. Discard and replace any that are worn or damaged
- Check flares and fire extinguishers. Replace if their expiration dates have passed
- Check the first-aid kit and replace any supplies that have expired
- Be sure that the drain plug is properly installed
- Inspect prop(s) for dings, pitting, and distortion
- Inspect the hull for blisters, distortion, and stress cracks
- Make sure the engine intake strainer is free of corrosion and is properly secured
- Inspect rubber outdrive bellows for cracked, dried, and/or deteriorated spots
- Replace deteriorated outdrive zincs
- Check power steering and power trim oil levels
- Use a hose to check for deck leaks at ports and hatches
- Check the engine shaft and rudder stuffing boxes for steady leaks and looseness
- Inspect fuel-system components for leaks - fuel tanks, pumps, lines, filters, etc.
- Exhaust manifolds should be removed and checked for corrosion every few years
- Clean and tighten electrical connections, especially both ends of battery cables
- Inspect hoses and fittings for a snug fit and check for leaks
- Fittings, especially swage fittings, should be inspected for cracks and rust
- Wire halyards and running backstays should be inspected for "fishhooks" and rust
- Ensure spreaders bisect the shrouds at equal angles
- Remove tape on turnbuckles and lubricate threads (preferably with Teflon)
- Chainplates mounted through the deck should be caulked as necessary
Don't forget to check your trailer as well before heading out. Things to look for include:
- Inspect trailer tires for wear and inflate properly
- Test the winch
- Check the trailer frame for rust spots
- Inspect wheel bearings, re-pack if necessary
- Test the lights before towing
- Trailer tags renew annually on your birthday, just like car license tags
About Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc.
Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc. (www.fmic.com) is the holding company for Fremont Insurance Company. Headquartered in Fremont, Mich., the company provides property and casualty insurance to individuals, farms and small businesses exclusively in Michigan. Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp's common stock trades under the symbol "FMMH."
SOURCE Fremont Michigan InsuraCorp, Inc.