With the Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim just over two weeks away, this is the perfect time to ensure that your boat is ready for the big day. Our good friends from the Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue Group suggest creating a Pre Swim Checklist (see below) and would also recommend taking your boat our for a sea trial this weekend. If you have any questions regarding the safety of your boat, now is the time to book an inspection.
Inspect your steering system
•Is there any evidence of leaks?
•Does the steering have a smooth positive feel?
•Check the hydraulic fluid level in the helm or reservoir and ensure you have spare fluid on board.
•Do your steering hoses look to be in good condition and not perished?
• Is the steering cable securely fitted?
• Does the steering move freely?
- Engine Oils
•2 Stroke: Ensure you have sufficient oil for the day
•4 Stroke and inboard: Is the oil level OK? And check oil colour for signs of contamination
- Fuel System
• Check filters are clear of water
• If you have a clear bowl, this will look like a separate layer on the bottom and can be drained via the drain valve. Remember to prime your fuel system after draining
• If you have a spin on filter (usually a white metal canister), remove and replace with a new one. Remember to prime your fuel system after replacing the filter
• Fill your tank if practical with fresh clean premium fuel and verify your fuel gauge is working correctly
• Check for leaking or perished fuel lines
- Battery System
• Check all battery terminals to ensure they are tight and free of corrosion
• Are your batteries fully charged and check water level
• Ensure batteries are adequately secured
- Navigation, Electronics and communications
• Check VHF radio by performing a ‘Radio Check’ with your local sea rescue group on VHF73. Radios should be a fixed install with a good quality antenna.
• Ensure your radio is tuned to VHF77 and 16 for the RCS
• Check your vessel’s navigation lights – you will be on water around sunrise
• Check your navigation equipment – does your GPS work?
• Plot the co-ordinates of the Rhumb Line and Northern Boundary into your chart plotter before the swim. You can also create a route to join your rhumb line waypoints together!
• Familiarise yourself with the RESCUE CORRIDOR
Checks whilst engine running
• Cooling – An engine running all day needs a lot of cooling water to function correctly
Check to ensure a flow of cooling water through the engine whilst running
Check your gauges to ensure engine runs at the correct temperature
Check for leaking hoses (usually appears as a salty deposit around the ends of the hose
Check for loose/broken hose clamps
Check battery voltage whilst engine is running. At least 13.8v for 12v systems and 26v for 24v systems
• Gears and throttle
Does your engine change gears and throttle speed easily and smoothly – if not, now is the time for new cables!
Does the engine idle smoothly
• Sea-trial your vessel and ensure everything operates. Consider maintaining 1-2knots for half an hour to ensure your vessel is up to the task