With the return of the nice weather and the ice all melted away, many boaters are starting to feel the call to the water. But you can never be too careful when you’re getting ready to go out on a boat.
Before the launch
There are a lot of steps to take before you set out on your boating excursion. Start with a maintenance inspection of all the boat’s components. To make sure you don’t miss anything, use these pre-departure checklists from Transport Canada. If you’re not yet comfortable with all the inspections that need to be done, you can request a free safety check of your pleasure craft.
Before going on the boat, don’t forget to make sure you have a full tank of fuel, your batteries are full charged, and that there are no holes or cracks in your hull.
Make sure you have all the mandatory – and very useful - technology on board: GPS, satellite phone and radio. Plan your itinerary and send a copy to someone who isn’t accompanying you on the excursion.
Because accidents can happen, despite all the safety precautions you’ve taken, make sure you have survival essentials. Have enough personal flotation devices or life jackets for everyone onboard. To ensure you have the right ones, read these tips from the Canadian Red Cross. Keep oars and ropes on board so you can be towed by another boat in the event of a breakdown, and carry a first-aid kit and flares. Have enough food and drinks for at least 24 hours, in case you aren’t able to get back to shore for whatever reason.
Better safe than sorry
Whether you’re planning a short jaunt around the lake or a long voyage, good safety preparations are crucial in order to be able to face all the situations that can happen on a boat excursion. Be careful and enjoy the beautiful boating days!
For peace of mind, protect your craft against damages with boat insurance. Consult the Transport Canada safe boating guide for more information.