May 18, 2012

A Boating Safety Checklist

I often get asked what items I keep on my boat, so I decided to make a check list of things I never leave shore without. Besides the required safety equipment like flares, fire extinguisher and whistle, there are a few other items I bring. I like to be prepared for anything just in case and at the same time hope that I never need them.  Thinking ahead and making sure you are ready can save the day or even your life.

  1. Jumper cables - These have saved my day many times.  Plus, you may need to help someone else on the water who has a dead battery.
  2. Toilet Paper - This should be an obvious one.  You never know when you'll need it.
  3. A good set of batteries - This goes without saying, but you should always have a good dependable marine battery that is fully charged.  There are many good ones on the market, just make sure you buy the best one you can afford.
  4. Battery Charger -  I use a charger like this one, but am looking to get a portable jump pack.  Most of the pros carry a battery charger as well as jumper cables, just in case
  5. First Aid Kit - A basic supply of band-aids, first-aid cream and Tylenol are always on board.
  6. Extra Oil - I carry an extra gallon of oil...just in case.
  7. Phone Charger - With today's smart phones and the fact the batteries die so quickly, I always carry my phone charger as well.  The last thing you want is to be in an emergency situation with no way to call for help.
  8. Tool Set - I'm not the best with tools, but I know that being on the water without a basic tool set is not smart.  I keep pliers, wrenches and anything else I need to do a quick fix on the water.
  9. Rope - I used to carry an anchor, but now I have a Power Pole and don't often fish water deeper than it can reach.  I still bring rope for tying to docks and in case of an emergency where I need to tie to something and leave the boat.
  10. Extra sunglasses and a set of clothes -  How many times have you dropped your sunglasses in the water? None?  Well it can happen anytime and there is nothing worse than being on the water without sunglasses, well maybe there is one thing worse: being soaking wet on a cold day.  That is why I also bring an extra set of clothes.
Being prepared can go a long way.  There are more items I bring, but these are the must-haves.  

What's on your list?

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