Boat Safety Checklist Before You Go Out on the Water

Spending the day out on the water is a wonderful way to enjoy time with family and friends. However, you want to ensure that your guests and family members are safe when you take them out on your boat. Below is a boat safety checklist to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable boating day.

Check Weather Reports

You do not want to be on the water during a storm. Check the weather reports for your area to ensure that you will have clear sailing all day.

Tell Someone Where You Will Be Boating

It is always a good idea to let someone know where you intend to go during the day and when you expect to return. In addition to telling the person your boating plan, let him know what to do if you do not return. You should also have a GPS and maps on your boat, especially if you are boating in an unfamiliar area.

Spare Keys

You should have spare keys on board in case the key was to fall into the water. All boat keys should be attached to floating bobbers.


Before leaving the dock, you need to check all equipment, including safety equipment, to ensure it is in proper working order.

  • Verify you have a life jacket for every passenger, including children’s life jackets
  • Check to ensure your throwable floating device is on board and the rope securing the device is long and in good condition
  • Check the horn and make sure you have a portable air horn as a backup in case the horn fails
  • Verify all navigation lights are working, including the instrument lights
  • Store flares and day signals in a dry, secure location
  • Carry a toolbox with essential tools for minor repairs, a flashlight, spare batteries, radio, and a fire extinguisher on board
  • Top off fuel tanks and check other fluid levels including oil and coolant levels
  • Check your first aid kit and replace any items that have expired or have been used

Safety Inspection

If you have not used your boat in some time, it is a good idea to have a professional safety inspection performed before taking your boat out on the water.

Wear Protective Gear

To protect yourself in the event of severe weather, wear or take waterproof clothing. Also, wear sunglasses and sunscreen to prevent damage from the sun. It is also an excellent idea to have an extra set of clothing on board.

Stock Water and Food

Just in case you become stranded, you should always have a supply of fresh water and food on board when you go boating.

Appoint an Assistant

Appoint a person to assist you while you are on the water. It is helpful to have another person watching out for everyone’s safety and assisting you with the boat.

Boat safety is a priority for everyone. Remind your passengers about boating rules and point out the location of emergency equipment and other important items. It is up to you to ensure your passengers follow safe boating practices to prevent a tragic accident.

Call an Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer

Even with the best preparation, you can be injured in a boating accident. Contact the team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond to discuss your legal options regarding an injury claim. Call 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.

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