A good day on the water depends on preparation before heading out.
It is a good idea to plan your trip and to check all your gear prior to leaving home. There are some useful check lists to aid you in your preparation. Don’t forget to include your crew in your trip preparations. The more you do before you head out on the water will make your day more enjoyable.
Basic rules for safe boating:
- Know the area in which you are boating and seek local knowledge
- Tell someone where you are going and when you will return
- Know the limitations of your boat
- Know your own limitations – if you’re in any doubt, come in
- Carry the right safety gear and know how to use it
- Don’t commit yourself to the trip – cancel if the weather is bad
- Know the load limit of your boat and don’t exceed it
- Carry some spare fuel and basic spare parts
- Wear a life jacket at all times on boats 6m and under
- Keep an eye on the kids and put them in a life jacket at the boat ramp
- Alcohol and boating don’t mix
If you’re new to boating, remind yourself of these items
- Take it easy – even the most experienced boaters can get into trouble
- Knowledge and skills come from experience – this takes time
- Perhaps start in calm conditions and work your way up
- Don’t be over confident – a licence means you know the rules but you still have no experience
- Now that you hold a boat licence, you have the responsibility of your passengers
Sometimes we take the condition of our boat and gear for granted.
This comprehensive check list covers most areas of all boats of various shapes and sizes.
We urge everyone to make a copy and spend some time going through the check list to ensure their boat is up to scratch.
It may also be a good idea to copy and enlarge the outline of the boat, write on it the location of your safety and other gear, then laminate it and mount it on the bulkhead.
This would be a reminder to all on board regarding the location of important safety gear and other mechanisms on a boat.
Going Boating? – use this checklist before you depart!
- do you hold a current licence?
- has the latest weather forecast been checked?
- has the tide been checked to ensure the ramp is suitable?
- has the vessel and safety equipment been checked?
- is there enough fuel for the trip (and reserve)?
- is there sufficient food, water and a first aid kit?
- have you informed someone of your departure and estimated return?
- are you familiar with the area you intend going, or have you sought local knowledge?
- are all passengers familiar with the safety equipment?
Remember – watch the weather and think of your boat’s safety at all times