Plan now, play later
Tips on getting ready for boating season
If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to examine your required safety gear and make a shopping list for the coming boating season.
Life jackets: All vessels are required to have Type I, II or III life jacket for every person on board. In addition, boats 16 feet and longer must also have one throwable Type IV. If you have an inflatable life vest, check the expiration on the CO2 cartridge. If it needs to be changed, inflate it to experience how it feels and sounds. Also make sure you have the proper-size life jackets for the kids.
Bell, whistle or sound producing devices: If your vessel is less than 65.6 feet, it must carry an efficient sound-producing device. If you use an air horn, is it functional and full or rusty and empty?
Visual distress signals: Check the dates on your flares and replace as needed. If it’s not quite time, put a sticker on the container or on the outside of the cabinet with the expiration date as a reminder.
Fire extinguishers: Know how many and what kind of fire extinguishers to have based on the size of your vessel. Make sure the charge indicator is in the green.
Navigation lights: Check out all your nav lights and see how many spare bulbs you have. This is a great time to order replacements.
Taking care of any issues now will make it so much easier to cast off the lines in the near future.