Boating Safety

There are many things to check before and while you operate your boat. The list could be endless, but here are some very important things to check each time you get underway.


  • Always check for favorable weather prior to boating.
  • Check that drain plug is installed in bottom of boat.
  • Verify ample safety equipment is aboard.



  • Visually inspect engine and bilge for leaks, loose items, etc.
  • Close engine/bilge hatch and run blower for 5 minutes prior to starting.
  • Verify safety lanyard in proper position.
  • Check that shifter is in neutral and throttle in correct position.
  • Start engine. Check for oil pressure, volts and engine temperature.



  • Children under 6 years of age must wear a USCG approve PFD while underway in vessels under 26 feet.
  • 3 miles offshore or at the edge of the gulf stream, children 13 and under must wear a USCG approve PFD on all recreational vessels unless except when below deck.
  • Anyone being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG approved PFD.
  • When water depth is unknown proceed slowly and with caution.
  • Observe all speed and rule signs.
  • Always look behind and to the sides prior to direction or speed changes.
  • Stow safety equipment in an easily accessible location.
  • Use Navigation Lights 30 minutes before sunset and after sunrise.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always check the weather and leave a float plan behind.

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