Are you ready for the season?

Spring commissioningIn the winter, we decommission vessels. During that process many things happen that keep the boat from freezing, many of which leave the boat in an “unready” state for use. When spring rolls around we go back and commission systems to put things back in the ready state. Some people do not understand the implications or processes involved with commissioning vessels. When the warmer weather comes, I pull my lawnmower out, prime it a bit and pull the cord. A boat is not that simple.

water connection corrosion Hard water build up and contaminants in shower hose connection. We have a quite lengthy check list that we use when commissioning a boat. Several people are involved with the process. We have a mechanic who goes over the systems. This means actually running the systems to see if everything works as it should. Sometimes things are picked up during the decommissioning but more often problems actually crop up during the spring. For instance, we fill the water tanks and test the related systems. During this process we often find small leaks, clogged windshield wiper washers, and other small problems. Also, the mechanic is responsible for running the engines and doing a visual inspection while the engines are running. The visual inspection is the first step to engine commissioning and is very important. Some things may have been done during the winter to effect the engine or filters and hoses may have not been tightened properly during winterizing. It is hard to spot these sort of problems until you actually run the engines. But running them at the dock is not really putting the boat through it’s paces. We prefer to actually sea trial the boat ourselves – usually from our facility here in Trappe to our Oxford location. During this sea trial we can spot other problems and potential problems. Usually the boats are dropped off here in the fall and we don’t actually get to run them so this is an opportunity to get to know your boat. It also gives us a chance to test electronics and check for vibration and steering issues. Also during commissioning we have to test the lights and electrical systems. We run the air conditioning and refrigeration. Anything that is electrical needs to be tested. This includes battery chargers, pumps and gauges. Commissioning means having the boat ready to be picked up, so we have our cleaning crew go over the boat and make sure it is clean and that any polishing has been done properly. As you can see this is not an hour job, nor is it something we do for free. Some customers have not requested commissioning but expect the boat to be like my lawnmower – just pull the cord and go. We can assume if we decommission your boat you would want us to recommission it, but we rarely make assumptions. Please request this service for your own peace of mind.