Before you leave for your trip

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^ Check to see if the boat's lights and horn work properly.

^ Check all necessary safety equipment.

^ Check that you have a backup power source and bailing equipment. A backup power source may include paddles, oars or a backup eng ine.

^ Check to see that a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) is on board for every passenger.

^ Check to see that all gear is stowed in the proper place.

^ Check the capacity plate for the maximum number of people, maximum weight capacity, and maximum horsepower recommended for the boat. The capacity plate is located near the operator's seat. Make sure you don't put more people or weight on board than it says on the plate.

^ Check the overall condition of the boat, including the engine, hull and structure.

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