Each and every year we go through the ritual of preparing the boat for the summer season on the lake. After a long winter of being tucked away in storage it makes us ridiculously excited to cut away the plastic shrink wrap and get that first glimpse of our awesome watercraft. De-winterizing the boat is a relatively painless process. After waxing and washing (a five hour ordeal), we reconnect the battery terminals, replace the hull plugs, roll it down the boat ramp, and fire up the engine. It had fresh oil, seals, and filters from when we winterized it so after a quick spin to make sure there were no leaks and everything worked we were all good to go!
If we were any typical boat owner that would be it. Having a commercial boat, though, requires us to get a commercial inspection from NH Marine Patrol. Each year they check to make sure we have the specially required modifications and equipment necessary for commercial operation in our great state. This includes a fuel cutoff valve installed outside of the main engine compartment, an automatic fire extinguisher installed in the engine compartment, extra life jackets, extra paddles (good luck paddling a 5000 pound boat), functional horn and navigation lights, and a type 4 throwable floating cushion.
Most years the M-Pat officers would come to the lake for the inspection but through new procedures stemming from cost cutting they wanted us to trailer the boat to them this year.
I loaded up the trailer, topped off the tire pressure, and drove off to Gilford, NH for the inspection. Throughout the 45 minute ride I got a steady stream of honks and fist-pumps as other drivers and pedestrians saw our boat cruising down the streets.
I won't claim to be the best trailer driver around but I did a pretty good job of getting it out back behind their headquarters for the inspection. While the officer was going through the inspection checklist the Marine Patrol mechanics came out to oogle the Centurion. They were fascinated by the ballast system and v-drive configuration of the motor so we had some fun chatting about wake surfing, our camp program, and boating in general.
It is good to have the boat back in operation with fresh inspection stickers. It is hard to believe that it has been stored away since last September and in just a month our first round of campers will be heading out on it to start shredding.