Download this Safe Boating Checklist
1. Check weather report and tides/currents
2. File a float plan with someone you know. Tell them where youʼre going and when you intend to return (and what to do if you don’t).
3. Identify non-swimmers
4. Identify second-in-command in case of skipperʼs incapacitation
5. Identify the location and the operation of the following Coast Guard required safety items if fitted
6. Identify incremental recommended gear if fitted
7. Describe engine shutdown technique
8. Check bilges; pump dry if water is present
9. Before engine is started
10. Once engine is started
11. Disconnect shore power cable
12. Upon leaving the harbor, store a “go home” waypoint on the GPS
1. Drink responsibly, especially if you are the skipper
2. Keep aware of the weather
3. Know where the nearest harbor or protected anchorage is
4. Monitor fuel consumption and remaining range
5. Monitor VHF radio Channel 16 for emergency traffic
6. Know the waters in which you are navigating
1. Boat is moored correctly with bow, stern, spring lines and fenders
2. Pump holding tank. Add holding tank treatment
3. Main battery switch is off
4. Shore power cable is attached and protected from chafe
5. Logbook has been filled out, signed, and dated
6. Close float plan by calling person whom you originally contacted.
This checklist was created by West Marine as a public service. We practice and encourage safe boating and seamanship.
Read this short article on how to stay safe from the Coast Guard: 12 Tips for 12 Weeks of Summer.