Source: Transport Canada
Be Prepared for the Unexpected – Check This List Before Every Trip
Lifejackets – Wear Them!
- Carry a Canadian-approved lifejacket for everyone on board.
- Make sure they are in good condition (check the zippers, buckles, fabric, seams, etc.).
- Check that they are properly sized to fit each person on board.
Operator Competency – Are You Ready to Head Out on the Water?
- Take a boating safety course.
- Keep your Pleasure Craft Operator Card or other proof of competency on board.
Weather – Check and Monitor the Marine Weather Forecast
Sail Plan – File Your Plan Before Heading Out
(See this guide for a sample sail plan)
- Tell a person you trust where you are going and when you will be back.
Safety Equipment – Required by Law and Essential for Safety
(See this guide for the equipment required for your boat)
- Make sure all equipment is on board, in good working order and easy to reach.
- Carry a first aid kit, basic tools and spare parts.
Charts, Compass and Local Hazards – Know Where You Are at All Times
- Make sure you are aware of all local hazards, water levels and tides.
Fuel – Check Your Tank and Remember: 1/3 to go, 1/3 to return, 1/3 reserve
Boat Condition – Should Your Boat Leave the Dock?
- Check the hull for cracks or other damage.
- Check the electrical, fuel, propulsion and cooling systems.
- Make sure the throttle and steering work well.
- Check the oil.
- Check all hoses and lines for leaks or cracks and replace if necessary.
- Make sure all clamps and belts are secure and in good shape.
- Inspect, clean and replace spark plugs if necessary.
- Check and change oil and water filters if needed.
- Check the battery’s charge.
- Make sure the drainage plug is in place.
- Carry spare plugs for all through hull fittings.
- Make sure the load on your boat (gear and occupants) is well distributed.
- Run the blowers for four minutes before starting the engine(s) – check for airflow.
Safety Briefing – You Are Legally Responsible for Your Guests
- Show everyone where the safety equipment is located and how to use it.
- Make sure the communication equipment works and everyone can use it.