If your boat has a cargo hold, and you regularly use the watertight door, be sure to avoid accidents and injuries. You might not realize this, but without proper precautions, your watertight door can pose a serious hazard. Here are four tips to ensure the safe use of your watertight doors.
1. Provide Proper Training for Door Use
When it comes to safety, the most important thing you can do is know how to use your watertight door properly. Failing to follow recommended safety procedures could result in crushing injuries to hands and feet. To avoid that risk, each person who will be present on your boat should receive proper training prior to embarking on your adventures. This training should include anyone who will be operating the doors, as well as all other passengers.
2. Ensure Routine Maintenance and Repairs
If you want to provide the maximum safety and security for your watertight door, you need to ensure routine maintenance and repairs are conducted. A poorly maintained door, or one that is in disrepair, is more likely to fail. Unfortunately, when a watertight door fails, the risk of accidents and injuries dramatically increases. You can reduce the risk of failure by ensuring that your door is cleaned according to the manufacturer's guidelines and that damage is addressed quickly.
3. Always Conduct a Safety Check Prior to Use
If you spend a lot of time on your boat, you probably have a list of procedures you go through each time you leave the dock. If a watertight door inspection isn't on that list, you need to add it as soon as possible. Conducting a safety check before each use will help you avoid accidents and injuries. First, check the door for signs of damage that will need to be addressed. Second, check to ensure that the controls are operational. Finally, check the area around the door. This area should be free of all obstructions. Once you've conducted your safety check, you'll know that your watertight door is ready for the day's adventures.
4. Insist on the Inclusion of an Emergency Release
Finally, if it's time to invest in a new watertight door, and you've chosen one with automatic features, be sure to include an emergency hand release. Automatic watertight doors are easier to operate; however, in an emergency situation, you need to know that you have access to a hand crank. A hand crank will allow you to access the cargo area should the power go out on your boat.