Ever see a pilot inspect his airplane? Do the same
One man died and two were injured in a boating accident in Lee County, Mississippi after the boat’s steering cable snapped causing the boat to jerk to the right. The one that died was thrown from the boat and suffered head injuries.
Experts say this kind of accident is a pretty common problem, but there are steps you can take to avoid such an accident. Lenny Hill used to race speed boats, and then he worked as technician and inspector for the American Power Boat Association.
"I have a 24 footer that goes about 110 miles per hour. I don't go in that boat until we do a thorough walkthrough," said Hill. "Just like you would an airplane. Check, go around, touch it, feel it." "Steering controls, you can't fudge with that. You have to be perfect," said Hill. He says every boater should check their boat before they go out. "Make sure the nuts are fastened, shake and wiggle the engine to make sure it's all good," said Hill.
Check and lubricate all fastenings, hand test them to make sure they are secure, and move the wheel to make sure the controls respond easily and smoothly. A very good visual check is most important. Check the cable wrap on the hub, check all of the turning blocks, check the connections to the motor. With hydraulic steering, inspect the hose fittings, look for fluid dripping, and butt the wheel hard over lock to lock and watch how the motor mount steering bar reacts.
Hill says the seconds it takes to check over your boat, or the little time it takes to get it serviced, could save you a lifetime of heartache. But he also says the most important thing is to bring your boat to a professional regularly.
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