Boating Checklist

Scores 4.76 with 327 votes
  • This is obvious, but make sure you have enough to get where you're going.
  • Also called safety jackets by some, these are a must before going anywhere.
  • The reason for this should be obvious, but be sure that they stay in working order!
  • Make sure that tools that would be used to fix problems on board are on the boat, and some spare ones as well.
  • Be sure that the battery is fully charged, cleaned and not corroded. Replace if needed.
  • Do your distress signals (horns, lights, flares, etc) work properly? If not, fix or replace them!
  • Squalls can do damage to boats, so pay attention to the forecast.
  • This is common sense, though some people don't think about it; check for weak or broken links, and replace if needed.
  • Sailboats need to be checked over thoroughly for cracks in the masts after bad storms, especially if the boat has tipped over.
  • Check for rips or tears; quite often they can be patched, but sometimes the sail has to be replaced.
  • Rowboats that do use these need to make sure that the oars don't have splits in them, and are still in usable shape.
  • Always have at least one, preferable two spare batteries, and a charger on board, just in case.
  • Check for leaks in all systems of the boat. Replace necessary lines where needed.
  • Ensure that the rails are tight in the deck, and have not come loose.
  • Make sure that the non-skid surfaces are just that; there should not slippery spots that need to be fixed or replaced.
  • At the very least, have a day's worth of food with you on the boat at all times.
  • Bottled water is a necessity as well; salt water will dehydrate you. Take a day's worth.
  • Radios and cell phones are the best way to keep in contact with the mainland, especially if a storm hits.
  • Make sure that this is fully stocked with everything, and keep the items in it fresh. Extra gauze and pressure bandages would be great.
  • Flashlights for getting around in the dark onboard if the power goes out.
  • This is a given, unless you want to look like a lobster and turn bright red.
  • Because you'll be on the water, put your identification in waterproof envelope or something similar, along with a health card.
  • Your itinerary should be listed with the local authorities, and you should at the very minimum have a nautical map.
  • Always maintain your boat, and follow your different checklists to a tee.
  • Turn one in with the local authorities so that if something happens, they know where to start looking.
  • Use these to make sure you know how to safely deal with emergencies on your boat when needed.
  • Always stay aware of what's going on around you; the weather can change, something can break instantly, so pay attention.
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