Predeparture Checklist –
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Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
Checkbox At least one Coast Guard approved device per passenger and a minimum of two on board.
Checkbox An additional throwable device is required if the vessel is more than 16 feet long.
Checkbox Explain the location and use of all PFDs to passengers and crew that may be new to the vessel.
Sound Producing Devices (Whistle)
Checkbox Must have a horn capable of producing a four-second blast audible for at least 1/2 mile.
Checkbox If a portable air horn, have a spare can of air or an alternate device.
Lights and Shapes
Checkbox All navigation lights as required.
Checkbox Instrumental lights working.
Checkbox If you intend to engage in an activity that requires a day shape, have the required shapes.
Checkbox Flashlight on-board.
Distress Signals
Checkbox Accessible flares, day signals, etc., stored in a dry location.
Checkbox Carry signals at all times even if not required by the Coast Guard.
Checkbox Inform the crew and passengers of their location and their use.
Tools and Spares
Checkbox Basic tool box on-board.
Checkbox Box of spares aboard, e.g., fuel filter, light bulbs, head parts, through hull plugs, etc.
Checkbox On any powered vessel or auxiliary powered sailboat, or vessels using LPG for cooking or heat, check that all interior spaces are well ventilated before departure.
Checkbox If fuel smells are detected before ventilating, check after running the blowers for several minutes before starting.
Checkbox If odor persists, stop and look for the source of the leak.
Fire Extinguishers
Checkbox Accessible fire extinguisher. Do you have at least those required by the U.S.C.G.?
Checkbox Check to be sure mounts are secure and functional before departure.
Checkbox Take the time to point out locations to passengers and crew.
Fuel and Oil
Checkbox Are your tanks topped-off?
Checkbox If not, have enough fuel to provide a reasonable margin of safety for your return.
Checkbox Check the engine oil and coolant level.
Checkbox Check to be sure bilges are reasonably dry and that pumps are not running excessively.
Checkbox Clean up any spilled oil or waste in bilges so as to prevent overboard discharge.
Battery Care
Checkbox If you have a dual charging system, is the selector switch in the proper position?
Checkbox Is the power on to the entire vessel?
Checkbox Spare batteries for accessories such as a handheld radio, flashlight, portable navigational aid, etc.
Checkbox If they are rechargeable, are they charged?
Weather Forecast
Checkbox Did you check the weather forecast?
Checkbox Radio on board to receive weather updates.
Docking and Anchoring
Checkbox At least one anchor set up and bent-on to your anchor line.
Checkbox Two or three extra docklines in case of unusual conditions dockside.
Checkbox Visually inspect the lines you use for chafe or wear.
Checkbox At least two fenders on-board for docking or towing if required.
Checkbox Have the ship’s papers, radio license, fishing permit, etc. on board.
Checkbox Have the chart or charts for the area you intend to cruise in, regardless of your level of local knowledge.
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