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Pre-Departure Checklist For Small Boat Trips

Updated on: 2/19/2019

U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident

If you are going on a long journey on your boat, particularly on a smaller boat, you need to prepare for the worst. 

Follow this pre-departure checklist for guidance.

Pre-Departure Checklist For Small Boat Trips

  • To make sure your small boat is going to be safe on the sea and that all essentials are on board, do a 15 minutes quick inspection before departing.
  • Check the operating condition of your boat including: steering, motor, hoses, battery, bilge, clamps, pumps, wiring, fuel tanks, lines, float switches, and lights.
  • Make sure you have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket of the appropriate size and type for you and every passenger (and make sure they are actually being worn!)
  • If your boat is greater than 16-feet in length, make sure you have a Coast Guard approved flotation device – for example buoyant cushion, ring buoy, or horseshoe buoy (kayaks and canoes are exempted from this requirement).
  • Check for other safety equipment appropriate to the size of your boat and the area where it will be operating, such as flashlight, tool kit, first-aid kit and sunscreen, paddles, oars, binoculars, anchor and anchor line, fire extinguisher, spare battery, visual distress signals, charts of the local area, and a VHF-FM marine radio.
  • Check the capacity plate or calculate the maximum load to make sure you don’t overload the boat with passengers and gear.

Davis Law Group, P.S., recommends downloading a Pre-Departure Checklist.

If you have been in a boating accident, contact Davis Law Group.

Preparation and adequate supplies before the trip should be the main focus prior to travel
by inez September 4, 2011 at 08:43 PM
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