The Massachusetts Boater Safety Handbook
The Official Boating Handbook of the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources - Web Version
Table of Contents
You can help ensure a good time while operating your vessel by performing this pre-departure check.
- Check the weather forecast for the area and time frame during which you will be boating.
- Make sure that the steering and throttle controls operate properly and 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.
- 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 you have the required number of personal flotation devices (PFDs), and check that they are in good condition.
- Leave a float plan with a reliable friend or relative.