No 2 boating trips are the same, therefore you need to treat every pilgrimage seriously and always take some simple precautions before setting out.

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Remember, no all boaters, or passengers, have the same experience or lull level. Through the plenty of variables encountered on the water, it’s easy for mishaps to happen if precautions space overlooked.

One the the best ways to be all set is to use a pre-departure checklist before each trip---even quick trips! This type of checklist is simple to review, and it renders sure that you aren"t recorded unprepared. Girlfriend can also use it come keep new passengers informed and also comfortable.

Below is an example of what need to be consisted of on her pre-departure checklist. Download ours printable PDF!

Pre-Departure Checklist


Personal Flotation tools (Life jackets)

You require to have at the very least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD onboard per passenger—and a minimum of 2 PFDs total. Therefore if she boating alone, you require two PFDs top top board.If your watercraft is much longer than 16 feet, you likewise need to have actually a throwable form four PFD ~ above board.Make sure to tell every one of your passengers whereby the PFDs room located.

Sound-Producing Devices

You require at least two sound-signaling tools on board, such together an waiting horn, bell or whistle.If you are carrying an wait horn, additionally pack a spare have the right to of compressed air.


Check to make sure you have actually all the compelled navigation lights and that they space working properly.And constantly carry a flashlight on board.

Distress Signals

Make certain that passengers understand where distress signals space located and also how to usage them. Store flares in a dry, obtainable location.

Docking and also Anchoring

You require to have at the very least one anchor onboard, attached to the anchor line.You"ll likewise need two fenders because that dockingInspect her fenders and anchor line.Have a coule of spare dock present onboard.


Have every one of the compelled documentation for your planned activities, including watercraft registration, radio license, fishing permits and boater education card.Keep local charts ~ above hand for rapid reference

Fire Extinguishers

If required, have actually a U.S. Shore Guard-approved fire extinguisher save in an available place.Check the it"s securely placed and no expired.Inform every passengers that fire extinguisher location(s).

Tools and also Spares

Keep a an easy toolbox onboard with frequently used preventive parts, prefer a fuel filter and light bulbs.

Emergency watercraft Operation

Inform every passengers of actions for emergencies ~ above the water, including stormy weather.If you have actually a VHF radio, know how to usage it. Save a well-stocked an initial aid kit in an obtainable location.

Fuel and also Oil

Before leaving, check that girlfriend have sufficient fuel because that the trip and also that the oil and also coolant space at an excellent levels.


On powered vessels, make sure enclosed spaces are well ventilatedRun the blower because that 4 full minutes before turning on the engine.If fumes are current after blowing, look for a leak or spill.

Battery Care

Check that the battery is completely charged prior to leaving.Also examine that every battery powered tools is working and also pack spare batteries for crucial accessories prefer your handheld radio and flashlight.

Weather Forecast

Always inspect the estimate before any kind of trip.Keep a handheld radio handy so you have the right to regularly monitor the weather.

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