Who is responsible for performing the pre-departure check of a recreational boat?
A day out in the water on your boat can be a lot of fun. But to ensure that your ride is enjoyable and stress-free, you need to make sure that your boat is in perfect condition before you head out.
So, who is responsible for performing the pre-departure check of a recreational boat?
The answer: The skipper or the operator does the pre-departure check of a recreational boat.
Read on as we explain in detail who is responsible for the pre-departure check-up of a recreational boat and what is included in the check-up?
What should be included in the pre-departure check-up of a recreational boat?
Here are all the things that should be included in the pre-departure check-up of a recreational boat –
Check the weather forecast for the area where you will be boating at a particular time. Getting stuck in bad weather can never be a good idea.
2. Boat condition
You much check the hull for any cracks or damage. Ensure that the steering and throttle controls are working well.
Check the electrical system to ensure that all lights, including navigation lights, are working correctly. Check the propulsion and cooling systems of your boat.
Drain out all water from the engine compartment, and ensure the drainage plug is replaced and secure.
3. Oil and fuel
Inspect the engine compartments for any oil leaks and check the oil level. If needed, you must change the oil filter, water filter, and spark plugs.
You should also check for any leaks from the tank, fuel lines, and carburetor. You can carry a few bottles of oil and coolant with you for emergencies.
Make sure there is enough fuel in the tank before you leave. You must remember that you need 1/3 to go out, 1/3 to return, and 1/3 in reserve.
Before you leave, you need to check the batteries on your boat to ensure that they are working correctly. You can also bring additional replacement batteries on your trip.
Check the batteries for all your accessories, including your radio and navigation system. Carry spare batteries for your accessories as well.
If you are using rechargeable batteries, make sure they are fully charged before your trip.
If you are going out boating, you must bring your toolbox and spare tools with you. Ensure that your toolbox has everything you need to make emergency repairs. In addition, you will need fuses, bulbs, fuel filters, and a flashlight as well.
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6. First aid kit
Ensure your boat has a complete first aid kit and that the kit is accessible to everyone on board. The kit should include items like bandaging, plasters, pain killers, antiseptic, and antibiotics.
7. Fire extinguisher
Consult the coast guard rules to check how many fire extinguishers should be there on your boat. Carry the correct number of fire extinguishers and ensure that all crew and passengers know where you have placed them. You must check that the mountings are safe. The fire extinguishers should be regularly checked to be operational.
8. Life jackets
You should have a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket for every person on the boat. If the boat is longer than 16 feet, you should have a throwable personal floatation device on board. Before departing, all passengers should be taught how to wear their life jackets and where they are stored on the boat.
9. Air horns and whistles
Every lifejacket should have an attached whistle. You should have an air horn that can produce a sound that can be heard half a mile away. If you are using a portable air horn, you should carry a replacement air can.
10. Flares and signals
You must store flares and distress signals at a dry location on board. All crew and passengers should know where they are stored and how to use them.
11. Dock lines
You must bring everything you need to dock your boat correctly. Your dock lines should be in good shape, and you must carry a few spare fenders.
If you have an LPG stove or oven on your boat, make sure it is adequately ventilated. Check the carbon monoxide detector too.
Is it a good idea for all boaters to use a pre-departure checklist?
Yes, it is recommended to use a pre-departure checklist to ensure a safe-trip.
Besides ensuring that the boat is in perfect working condition, you also need to ensure that you have everything you need onboard.
If something is not working or something is missing, you want to know about it before starting your trip.
Once you have all these safety measures in place, and you are good to go for your boat trip. We wish you a safe journey.