If you are planning a trip on the water this season, it’s important to perform a boating safety checklist to ensure your vessel is properly maintained and you’re prepared to handle emergencies. It’s also a good idea to have a general awareness of the rules and regulations surrounding boating. This will help you avoid common pitfalls and keep you and your passengers safe.
For example, check the fuel gauge to make sure you have enough gallons to reach your destination. Also, look out for changes in wind speed and tides. You should have at least two fenders on board for safe docking and towing.
Make sure you have a properly functioning engine. Your outboard engine should have a safety lanyard cord to prevent it from getting tangled. And, make sure the engine kill switch is in good working order.
Check your bilge pump and other electrical systems. You should also have a spare battery for electronics.
You should also check your life vests and other personal flotation devices. There are many brands of these and you should purchase the one that fits you the best. A Coast Guard-approved PFD is also a good idea.
If you are new to boating, it’s always a good idea to sign up for a boating safety course. They teach you the proper way to operate a boat and the appropriate safety equipment to have onboard spicecinemas.
The United States Coast Guard has developed a list of the more practical items you should carry on your boat. From a fire extinguisher to a VHF radio, they have compiled a comprehensive list of the most essential items.