Sea Safety


The following may be personalised for your own use whenever leaving your mooring:

You can Download this as a Word File Boating Checklist


  1. Check weather report and tides/currents
  2. File a float plan with someone you know. Tell them where youʼre going and when you intend to return (and what to do if you don’t).
  3. Identify non-swimmers
    • Supply them with fitted life jackets while on the water
  4. Identify second-in-command in case of skipperʼs incapacitation
  5. Identify the location and the operation of the following Coast Guard required safety items if fitted
    • Life jackets – should be readily accessible
    • Lifesling or throwable flotation – should be immediately accessible.
    • Horn or sound-producing device as required
    • Fire extinguishers and a brief description of their operation (P.A.S.S.)
    • Flares or other Visual Distress Signals
    • Check operation of Navigation Lights
  6. Identify incremental recommended gear if fitted
    • VHF Radio; turn on and select Channel 16. Ensure that one other person knows how to transmit a Mayday.
    • Ensure that one anchor and rode is ready for immediate use
    • Turn on GPS
    • A length of nylon line for a towline, perhaps 75' x 1/2"
  7. Describe engine shutdown technique
  8. Check bilges; pump dry if water is present
  9. Before engine is started
    • If gasoline inboard: run blower for at least four minutes
    • Check lubricating oil
    • Check fuel level
    • Make sure buzzers sound on engine panel.
  10. Once engine is started
    • Check for sign sof cooling water flow and check for oil pressure
    • Attach kill switch lanyard if fitted
  11. Disconnect shore power cable
  12. Upon leaving the harbour, store a “go home” waypoint on the GPS

While on the Water

  1. Drink responsibly, especially if you are the skipper
  2. Keep aware of the weather
    • Use the weather channels on your VHF radio
    • Watch for changes in wind speed and cloud formations
  3. Know where the nearest harbour or protected anchorage is
  4. Monitor fuel consumption and remaining range
    • Use the “Three Thirds Rule”; one third outbound, one third inbound, one third reserve
  5. Monitor VHF radio Channel 16 for emergency traffic
    • Be prepared to lend assistance if you are the nearest vessel
  6. Know the waters in which you are navigating
    • Refer to local charts
    • Stay within marked channels
    • Be conscious of tides and currents

When you return to the dock

  1. Boat is moored correctly with bow, stern, spring lines and fenders
    • Snubbers, if used, are in place
    • Lines are protected from chafe
  2. Pump holding tank. Add holding tank treatment
  3. Main battery switch is off
    • Always-on loads (bilge pump, clocks) are on
  4. Shore power cable is attached and protected from chafe
    • Battery charger is on; inverter may need to be turned off
  5. Logbook has been filled out, signed, and dated
  6. Close your passage plan by calling person whom you originally contacted.

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