Read This Pre-Departure Checklist Before Your Next Boating Trip


a woman helping her daughter put on a life jacketFood, check! Water, check! Sunscreen, check! The aforementioned is vital to bring along on your boat trip, so you don’t get hungry, thirsty, or sunburned. However, when it comes to keeping your passengers safe, don’t leave the dock without ticking off these items:

Life Jackets

Life jackets are essential life-saving equipment. Be sure to have enough Coast Guard-approved life jackets for each passenger on board. A throwable life preserver should also be stored on your boat. Make sure every passenger knows where to find these safety devices should an emergency arise.

Sound Devices

Keep a horn that can produce a four-second sound blast that can be heard for a minimum of a half-mile. Attach whistles to life jackets as well.


Check that your navigation lights, as well as instrument lights, are working correctly. Keep a flashlight and spare batteries on board as well.


Distress signals such as flares and day signals should be stored in a dry area. Be sure to inform anyone assisting with boat operation as well as passengers to where flares are kept. Also, inform everyone on board how to safely use flares in an emergency.


The following tools can come in handy when you need a quick fix. Keep the following in an onboard toolbox:

  • Pliers

  • Multi-tool

  • Wrenches and screwdrivers

  • Spark plugs

  • Duct tape

  • Scissors

  • Socket set

  • Extra batteries


Before heading out, check your fuel tank level to ensure that you have enough gas to get you and your passengers back home safely. Be sure to check your engine oil and coolant levels as well.

Fire Extinguishers

Depending on your boat’s size, you may need to have one or more fire extinguishers easily accessible for an emergency. Let your passengers know where all fire extinguishers are located.

Docking and Anchoring

Ensure that you have an anchor set up along with two to three extra dock lines. Inspect your dock lines for wear and tear. Keep extra fenders to prevent bumping into docks.

Check the Weather Forecast

It’s also essential to do a weather check before you head out. If it’s bright and sunny when you leave, that doesn’t mean it may not rain while you’re out on the boat. Rain and other extreme weather can limit your visibility.

Involved in a Boating Accident? We’re Here to Help

If you or someone you love has been involved in a boating accident caused by another’s negligence, our team is here to protect your rights. We’re passionate about standing up for plaintiffs’ rights, and we want to fight for you.

Contact DiPasquale Moore today at (816) 888-7500 to schedule a free consultation.


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