Is there anything more peaceful than enjoying a day on the water? Whether you rise before dawn for early morning fishing or enjoy a high-energy afternoon filled with water-skiing and tubing, all boaters agree: there’s something magical about being on the water.
To be miles from land, surrounded by calm water as far as the eye can see, feeling the sun on your face as you listen to the waves lap gently against your boat — there’s just nothing else like it on Earth.
Unfortunately, part of boating’s appeal is also its main difficulty: it’s challenging to know what to pack for a boating trip, whether you’re the one behind the rudder or the one lounging on deck. If you want to enjoy all the fun of a boating trip without any of the stress, enlist the help of a thoughtfully crafted boating checklist.
A good boating checklist tells you that a water-resistant trench will keep you warm and dry even when your boat is getting hammered by rain or waves and that a pair of fast-drying shorts is crucial for avoiding soggy discomfort all day.
For those who want to make the most of time on the water, a well-written boating checklist is a necessity. Keep reading to see what we’ve included on our boating checklist and to learn how to make your next boating trip the most fun, safe and stress-free yet. With our boating checklist, we guarantee smooth sailing ahead.
Boating Pre-departure Checklist:
Regular use and maintenance of your vessel is key to prolonging its life and having a safe voyage. These are some of the things you should check before you start the engine.
Bring all the necessary documentation and licenses
Check the engine
Check the engine oil
Check pull cord
Check the spark plugs
Check the propeller nut and pin
Check the cooling system for seaweed or fishing lines
Check the batteries
Check fuel (if it’s stale or not)
Check coolant levels
Check for leaks before starting the engine
Test the wiring
Check the safety gear
Check the ventilation
Check the bilges
Check the weather forecast
Check the tides and currants
Bring spare fuel
Bring spare light bulbs
Bring spare through-hull plugs Optional: Check the boat trailer
Boating Safety Checklist:
One lifejacket per person
First aid kit with sun screen and sea sickness medicine
Throwable floatation devices
Anchor and chain
Paddles and oarlock
Whistle, air horn or bell
Multi-tool with a knife
Diver down flag
Signaling mirror Optional: Snorkel mask Optional: Required day-shapes Optional: Radio beacon (EPIRB) Optional: Inflatable lifejacket Optional: Bilge pump Optional: Lightsticks Optional: Marine radio
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