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Your Summer Boating Checklist

A boat in the ocean during summer

 When preparing for a safe and enjoyable boating experience this summer, it’s important to have a comprehensive checklist. Here’s a summary of key items to consider for your boating safety summer checklist:


  • Ensure the bottom of your boat is freshly painted and the engine and other equipment are checked.

  • Inspect exterior wiring connections for navigation lights, dock lines for chafing or freeze damage, and life jackets for mold or deterioration.

  • Check paper charts, cockpit drains, and hose clamps for any damage.

  • Verify that rudder and steering systems are functioning properly without undue resistance or excessive play.

  • Replace any swollen, stiff, or rusty control cables.

  • Check engine oil levels and other oil reservoirs like tilt/trim on outboards, windlasses, and hydraulic fluids in steering systems.

  • Look for deck leaks, especially around wooden areas, by running water over potential problem spots.

Safety Equipment:

  • Test communications equipment, including EPIRB/PLB batteries, and ensure the registration is current.

  • Confirm your MMSI is correctly entered into your DSC radio.

  • Test navigation equipment, such as depth-finder transducers, which may be damaged by cold.

  • Perform a load test on batteries and check the electrolyte level and specific gravity if applicable.

General Tips:

Remember, good preparation increases safety and fun for the entire boating season. For a more detailed checklist, you can refer to resources provided by BoatUS, the National Safety Council, and the Coast Guard. Enjoy your time on the water!

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