Another way you can assure a good time while operating your vessel is to perform a pre-departure check.
- Check the weather forecast for the area and timeframe during which you will be boating.
- Make sure the steering and throttle controls are operating properly.
- Check that all lights are working properly.
- Check for any fuel leaks from the tank, fuel lines, and carburetor.
- Check the engine compartment for oil leaks.
- Check hose connections for leaks or cracks, and make sure hose clamps are tight.
- Drain all water from the engine compartment, and be sure the bilge plug is replaced and secure.
- Make sure you have enough fuel or know where you can refuel.
- Check to be sure you have a fully charged engine battery and fire extinguishers.
- If so equipped, make sure the engine cut-off switch and wrist lanyard are in good order.
- Make sure that you have the required number of PFDs and that they are in good condition.
- Leave a float plan with a reliable friend or relative.