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Course Outline

Boater checking a fire extinguisher

Another way you can ensure a good time while operating your vessel is to perform a pre-departure check.

  • Check the weather forecast for the area and time frame 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 (ECOS) 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.
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