Georgia Boating Safety Course



PRE-DEPARTURE CHECKLIST AND PASSENGER COMMUNICATION

No two boating trips are the same; every experience is different. It is important not to take any boating trip lightly. In addition, not every boater has the same comfort level or experience on the water. Accidents occur when proper precautions are overlooked. You should use a pre-departure checklist a checklist to ensure passengers are informed and comfortable and that all equipment and requirements have been accounted for. before each trip, regardless of its length. The checklist is easy to review, and it will also ensure new passengers are informed and comfortable.

 

PRE-DEPARTURE CHECKLIST

PFD

Personal Flotation Devices (Life jackets)

  • At least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD per passenger, and a minimum of two PFDs total
  • A throwable device for boats longer than 16 feet
  • Inform all passengers where the PFDs are located and make sure children onboard are wearing their PFDs
Sound Producing Devices

Sound-producing devices

  • Horn, whistle, or bell present (at least two)
  • If using a portable air horn, have a spare can of compressed air
Lights

Lights

  • All required navigation lights
  • Check instrument lights
  • Flashlight
Distress Signals

Distress Signals

  • Flares: stored in an accessible, dry location
  • Inform all passengers of signal location and use
Anchor

Docking and Anchoring

  • At least one anchor attached to the anchor line
  • Two fenders for docking
  • Inspect dock and anchor lines for wear and tear; replace if frayed
  • Two or three extra dock lines
Documentation

Documentation

  • Keep registration, radio license, fishing permit, Boater Education Card on board
  • Keep local charts on hand for quick reference
Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguishers

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher stored in an accessible place
  • Ensure mounts are secure
  • Inform all passengers of fire extinguisher location(s)
Tools

Tools and Spares

  • Basic toolbox
  • Spares aboard: fuel filter, light bulbs, etc.

Emergency Boat Operation

  • Inform all passengers of procedures for stormy weather or falls overboard
  • Know how to operate the radio
  • First aid kit (on board and accessible)

Fuel and Oil

  • Make sure tanks are full
  • Check the engine oil and coolant levels

Ventilation

  • On powered vessels, ensure interior spaces are well ventilated
  • If fumes are present after blowing, look for a leak or spill

Battery Care

  • Make sure all powered equipment is working
  • Have spare batteries for accessories (handheld radio, flashlight, etc.)
  • Make sure batteries are charged

Weather Forecast

  • Did you check the weather forecast?
  • Have a handheld radio to monitor weather

Bilges

  • Clean bilge of any spills or waste.
  • Make sure bilge is dry and pump is functional
Float Plan

Float Plan

  • File a float plan with passengers and boat information with a friend or reliable party