You can receive a free, vessel safety check without risk or obligation. Specially trained members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons provide this service for recreational boats. Call 1-800-869-7445.
Before leaving the dock, start the engine while you are double-checking your boat and its safety gear. This will give the engine time to warm up.
^ Check the weather reports. Look for any threatening clouds such as thunderheads or approaching fronts.
^ Check the boat, engine, and fuel lines for leaks.
^ Check the battery, motor and propeller to make sure they work properly.
^ Check the fire extinguishers, ventilation system, and other safety equipment to make sure all of them are working properly.
^ Check the oil and fuel levels. Plan on using no more than one-third of the fuel to reach your destination. To be safe, use one-third of the fuel going out, one-third to return, and keep one-third as a reserve.
^ Check the first aid kit.
^ Check the anchor and line.
^ Check the radio to make sure it's working.
^ Check for your backup power source (oars, paddles, or a motor) and bailing equipment.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT COURTESY VESSEL EXAMINATIONS, CONSULT WEBSITE:
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.