Evansville Bend Power Squadron

                                  offers this Boater's Pre-Departure Checklist

Know your vessel. Before departure, always be sure your vessel is in good working
and properly equipped for emergencies. Avoid inconvenience and potential
danger by taking a few minutes to check the following:

Minimum Federal Required Equipment



State Registration Documentation



State Numbering Displayed



Certificate of Documentation



Lifejackets (PFDs) - one for each person



Throwable PFD



Visual Distress Signals



Fire Extinguishers (fully charged)



Proper Ventilation



Backfire Flame Arrestor



Sound Producing Device(s)



Navigation lights



Oil Pollution Placard



Garbage Placard



Marine Sanitation Device



Navigation rules



Any Additional State Requirements



Besides meeting the federal requirements, prudent boaters carry additional safety equipment. The following additional items are suggested depending on the size, location and use of your boat:

Recommended Equipment




VHF Marine Radio




Anchor and Tackle




Chart(s) of Area & Navigation Tools




Magnetic Compass




Fenders and Boat Hook




Mooring Lines and Heaving line




Manual Bilge Pump or Bailing Device




Tool Kit




Spare Parts (fuses, spark plugs, belts, etc)




Spare Battery (fully charged)




Spare Propeller




Extra Fuel & Oil




Alternate Propulsion (paddles/oar)




Flashlight & Batteries




Search Light




First Aid Kit




Sunscreen (SPF 30+)








Food and Water




Extra Clothing




AM - FM Radio




Cellular Phone








Safety Checks and Tests




Test Marine Radio (voice call)




Test Navigation and Anchor Lights




Test Steering (free movement)




Test Tilt / Trim




Test Bilge Pump




Check for any excessive water in bilges




Check Fuel System for any leaks




Check Engine Fluids




Ensure Boat Plug is properly installed




Check Electrical System




Check Galley / Heating Systems




Check Gauges (i.e. batteries)




Check Fuel Amount




Ensure Anchor is ready for use




Check load of vessel and secure gear from shifting




Ensure passengers know Emergency Procedures and Equipment Location




Everyone put on a Lifejacket to check for proper fitting.




Check the Weather Forecast




File a Float Plan with family or friend