Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pre - Departure Check list

Before departure, always be sure your vessel is in good working condition and properly equipped for emergencies. Here is a list you can use, or modify to suit your own vessel's needs.

Minimum Federal Required Equipment
State Registration Documentation
State Numbering Displayed
Certificate of Documentation
Lifejackets (PFDs) - one for each person
Throwable PFD
Visual Distress Signals
Fire Extinguishers (fully charged)
Proper Ventilation
Backfire Flame Arrestor
Sound Producing Device(s)
Navigation lights
Oil Pollution Placard
Garbage Placard
Marine Sanitation Device
Navigation rules
Any Additional State Requirements

Besides meeting the federal requirements, you should carry additional safety equipment. The following additional items are suggested depending on the size, location and use of your boat:
Recommended Equipment

VHF Marine Radio
Anchor and Tackle
Chart(s) of Area & Navigation Tools
Magnetic Compass
Fenders and Boat Hook
Mooring Lines and Heaving line
Manual Bilge Pump or Bailing Device
Tool Kit
Spare Parts (fuses, spark plugs, belts, etc)
Spare Battery (fully charged)
Spare Propeller
Extra Fuel & Oil
Alternate Propulsion (paddles/oar)
Flashlight & Batteries
Search Light
First Aid Kit
Food and Water
Extra Clothing
AM - FM Radio
Cellular Phone

Safety Checks and Tests

Test Marine Radio (voice call)
Test Navigation and Anchor Lights
Test Steering (free movement)
Test Tilt / Trim
Test Bilge Pump
Check for any excessive water in bilges
Check Fuel System for any leaks
Check Engine Fluids
Ensure Boat Plug is properly installed / Have spare through Hull Plugs
Check Electrical System
Check Galley / Heating Systems
Check Gauges ( batteries)
Check Fuel Amount
Ensure Anchor is ready for use
Check load of vessel and secure gear from shifting
Make sure passengers know Emergency Procedures and Equipment Location
Everyone put on a Lifejacket to check for proper fitting.
Check the Weather Forecast