A Weekend Jaunt

Fri, Feb 03, 2012 at 12:00AM

With the unusually mild weather this winter, Monterey Boat owners in more of the country are enjoying getting out on the water.

But to get the most out of your weekend Monterey outing, it always helps to make sure you've got all you need for the trip, especially if you plan to drop anchor and spend the night.

Here's what you need to double-check before you leave home:

Boat registration: Is your boat registered and is the registration current? Is the trailer license current?

Gasoline: If the gas in the boat tank has been there since last season, replace it with fresh fuel. You don't want to get out on a lake when moisture in the fuel suddenly stops the engine.

Life jackets: Is there one in the boat for every person who will be aboard?

Steering cable: Turn the boat steering wheel and make sure the outdrive turns with it.

Lights: Make sure all the lights on the boat are working. You may be planning a daylight-only outing, but something could delay you until nightfall. Check the trailer's lights also.

Fire extinguisher: Make sure it is charged.

Wheel bearings: Before your first outing of the season, pull off the caps on the trailer wheels and check the grease. This is a critical, but often overlooked item on trailers.

Check the weather: If a storm is forecast, you may want to change plans.

Cell phone: Take one if at all possible. They don't function in some remote areas, but they work most places.

Supplies: In addition to fishing gear or swim items, take along drinking water, sunscreen, insect repellent and a first aid kit.

For trailer boaters, here's what to do at the launch ramp:

Make sure the drain plug is firmly in place in the boat.

Check the motor kill switch if your boat has one.

Set the parking brake on the vehicle towing the boat.

Unhook the trailer lights from the towing vehicle.

Take tie-down straps off the boat so the trailer doesn't float.

Put on life jackets even if not required by law. It's the safe thing to do.

Of course, you're also going to need food, but if you have one of our great cruisers, you'll have great cooking and cold storage appliances.

And if you don't already have one, you can find a Monterey perfect for your weekend outings at

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