Preparing for your boat trip

8.29As the end of summer approaches, you might be eyeing up the calendar circling the last few weekends of enjoying your boat. It’s been a long summer taking advantage of getting out as much as possible, but every time you go out, you inevitably end up using or losing supplies.

Before you thinking about shutting down, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for the last few trips. No two boating trips are the same, so you need to treat every trip seriously and always take some basic precautions before setting out.

Are there enough life preservers for everyone on board?
On holidays or nice weekends, you might end up with more passengers than usual. Do you have a life vest that will fit each individual? Don’t forget to check our state regulations, some states require children to wear a life vest the entire time.

Is your safety equipment properly installed?
Rough conditions can jostle equipment Smaller items like flares could be damaged by water throughout the season if they are not stored in a dry location. Check all lines and installed equipment like man overboard recovery to make sure everything is secure.

Do you have an emergency plan?
You can’t always predict an emergency, so be prepared for any situation. Items like an EPIRB, man overboard recovery systems and life rafts are the things you hope you never need to use but you’ll be glad you have them when you need it.

Do you need to restock supplies?
Do you have your necessities well-stocked? Inventory your first aid kit, sunscreen, and extra supplies of food and water and re-stock as necessary. Check items expiration date, like flares, to ensure they are up-to-date.

Power up!
Make sure any items like VHF radios, EPIRBS, and other communication devices are charged and ready to go.

Check the weather
Always check the forecast before you go. Delay your trip during heavy rain, strong winds and other unfavorable conditions

Get your boat checked
Complete a pre-launch inspection. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offer free Vessel Safety Checks.

And most importantly? Get ready to have fun!

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