Take a few minutes to walk around your boat and carry out a visual inspection. Motor problems or running out of fuel cause more than half of the calls for assistance so for fuel remember 1/3rd out, 1/3rd back and 1/3rd in reserve.
Complete the following Pre Departure Check List and make sure that all your passengers know where all the safety equipment is located and how to use it.
- Lifejackets/ Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) – Wear them. Carry one Canadian approved lifejacket/PFD for everyone on board. Make sure they are in good condition, no rips or broken zippers or straps. They must be properly sized to fit each person on board.
- Operator Competency. Take a boating safety course and have a copy of your proof of operator competency (PCOC) on board.
- Check and monitor the weather.
- Make sure you have all the required safety equipment on board and that it is in good working order. The same applies for any optional equipment that you are carrying.
- Fuel, check your tank and spare fuel.
- Brief your passengers on the location and use of all safety equipment including communications equipment.
- Position passengers and cargo such that their weight is evenly distributed.
Condition of your boat:
- Check for hull damage.
- Check electrical, mechanical, fuel and cooling systems.
- Check throttle and steering are working properly.
- Check the oil levels and oil and water filters.
- Check all hoses and water lines.
- Check the battery for full charge.
- Check all drain plugs and carry spares for all through hull fittings.
- Check your load distribution for all equipment and passengers.
- Run blower for at least 4 minutes before starting the engine(s) and check for proper air flow.