Make sure it's safe

Published: Wednesday, 04 November 2009

WITH the official end of the cruising season, and many boaters deserting their boats for the winter, it is not only the obvious 'wintering' that is important.

Through my season's cruising I have seen a number of sunken boats, which makes me wonder if boaters take a look into their bilges and engine compartments to see if any water is present, writes Charles Black.

And also most important to check if the battery is charged and sound enough to work a bilge pump should it be necessary, for I once went in my engine compartment to check my oil level to find a good foot of water splashing about that had come in through the stern tube, with the bilge pump not working.

A bilge can hold many gallons of water under the floor of a boat and be completely unnoticed, until the boat gets lower and lower in the water until it eventually sinks.