Your Safety Checklist
Always ensure that your boat is ready to go before shoving off the dock. Perform these safety checks before you leave for the next leg of your trip each morning:
? Did you leave a boat plan? This is an itinerary indicating where you plan to go and when you expect to return. Leave this with a relative, friend or at the local marina.
? Do you have working communications gear? This should include a VHF two-way radio and mobile phone because cell service may not always be available.
? Do you have a GPS locator and chart plotter? These items help you determine where you are and where you want to go. The locator also alerts you to potential hazards such as underwater obstacles.
? Do you have safety equipment on board? This includes PFDs, safety flares, fire extinguishers, sound-producing devices (such as whistles), working navigation lights, a first aid kit, and the proper size and type anchor.
? Did you test all the equipment? Check all communications, safety and location equipment.
? Did you check the weather reports? Pay particular attention to weather fronts, and wind and wave conditions.
? Did you inspect for any leaks? Double-check that your bilge pump is clear of debris, works properly and that there are no new holes or mechanical issues since you last took off.
Listening to small waves gently lapping against the hull, watching a bright sunrise from your deck, feeling a soft breeze as you dig into lunch are just a few of the boat camping benefits that you don't want to miss out on. If you want to sleep on land, reserve your spot at one of these three boat-in campgrounds:
Find a Campground at ReserveAmerica.com.