BoatU.S. recently revealed some interesting news that any boater will find of value — the top five reasons why boats sink in the spring. The information comes from BoatU.S. marine insurance claims files, so I’d say it’s legit. Here’s what they found…

Boaters need to inspect stainless hose clamps every spring.

1) Hose clamps — Either missing clamps, or clamps damaged to the point they’re of no use. Check to make sure you’ve replaced clamps after winterization. Replace any that you discover are damaged. Use a flashlight and really inspect; often clamps are in hard-to-access areas you might overlook.

2) Unsecured engine hoses — If you’ve left water in any hoses, it can freeze and literally pull the hose free of its connection. Check seacocks, and tighten or reattach anything that’s not secure.

3) Spring rains — Spring can be a rainy season, and those heavy rains can overwhelm a leaky port, deck hatch, fitting, or scuppers plugged with debris.

4) Broken sea strainer — Again, proper winterization is key. If neglected, glass, plastic, even sometimes bronze strainer bowls have reportedly cracked or bent over the winter.

5) Leaking stuffing box — I’ve personally dealt with this one. If the packing around your prop shaft isn’t properly situated, water is going to come in. Check it…and keep an eye on those bilge pumps for telltale signs you’ve got a leak.

More tips? Check out BoatU.S.’s Spring Fitting Out Safety Checklist