Boat Safety Checklist: 4 Items Required on Every Boat

Do you have a proper boat safety checklist to consult before each water outing? Here are the four items required on every boat, regardless of activity, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Life Jackets & Extra Flotation Devices

Some of the most important items on any boat safety checklist are life jackets and extra flotation devices. The US Coast Guard mandates that all recreational boats have a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person aboard. These should be easily accessible and in good condition. Additionally, it’s recommended that you have various types of flotation devices available, such as throwable flotation aids, for emergencies. Regularly check these items for wear and tear, ensuring they’re fully functional and ready to provide life-saving buoyancy when needed.

Fire Extinguishers (5-B & 10-B)

A fire on board can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation, making fire extinguishers an essential part of your boat safety checklist. Depending on the size of your boat, different types and quantities of fire extinguishers may be required. Certain boats only need B-I or B-II fire extinguishers, but newer 5-B and 10-B products are highly recommended. A 5-B rating signifies that the fire extinguisher can handle flammable liquid fires, while a 10-B rating indicates the capability to put out larger fires. Ensure your fire extinguishers are easily reachable, well-maintained, and that all passengers know how to use them.

Sound & Visual Distress Signals

Sound and visual distress signals are crucial for alerting others in case of an emergency. Federal law requires boats 16 feet or longer to carry visual distress signals approved by the US Coast Guard. These include items like flares, strobe lights, or signal mirrors. Sound-producing devices, such as horns, bells, or whistles, are also useful for attracting attention over short distances. It’s important that these items are stored in a waterproof container and in a location that is easily accessible during an emergency. Regularly check their condition to ensure they’re operational when you need them most.

First Aid & Repair Tools

Having a well-stocked first aid kit and simple repair tools on board is essential when you’re out on the water. A basic first aid kit should include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, medical tape, and pain relievers to handle minor injuries or illnesses. It’s also a good idea to include seasickness remedies if you or your passengers are prone to motion sickness. For repairs, a multi-tool with various screwdrivers, pliers, and a knife can be invaluable for making quick fixes to your boat’s equipment. Additionally, duct tape, spare fuses, and an assortment of nuts and bolts can help manage any unexpected breakdowns.

Use this boat safety checklist and include these four required items on your boat to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the water. If you’re interested in increasing your onboard comfort further, consider implementing a high-quality suspension system into your existing seating. Check out the many benefits of the Smooth Moves Ultra by visiting Smooth Moves online today.