With the summer season in full swing, everyone is heading out on the water to get their fill of recreational activities and adventures before winters eventually arrive. However, sometimes, a fun day on the water can turn into a major headache when you forget to pack the must-have essentials when leaving the dock.
Therefore, to help you avoid such situations moving forward, we’ve made a ten-point checklist that you can use every time before you leave the dock. These ten items include:
1- Safety Gear + First Aid
While it may sound like a no-brainer to have the required safety gear and first aid kit on board, you also need to ensure that everything you’re packing remains in your easy access in case of emergencies. These items include life jackets, inflatable safety boats, and other essentials necessary to keep you above water.
Bringing enough water to last at least three to four days is also essential, even if you’re only going to spend time out on the water for a few hours.
3- Extra Fuel
Similarly, packing some extra fuel for your boat can get you out of tricky situations at times when you find yourself lost with no help nearby.
4- Float Plan
Before you head out on the water and leave the dock, you must also share your float plan with at least a couple of people, making sure to tell them when to expect you back. You can fill out the free USCG float plan, leaving it to a reliable person to make things easier for the rescue team if you don’t get back on the shore in time.
5- SOS Device
You can invest in different types of SOS devices, including Satellite messengers, PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), and EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). While most people don’t think of keeping this safety equipment on board as necessary, it’s essential to realize that they could be just as crucial for your life as a PFD at times.
6- Waterproof VHF Radio
Moreover, a waterproof VHF (Very High Frequency) radio is your primary source of communication since it lets you contact other boaters and marinas in bad weather conditions. Mobile phones aren’t waterproof, so they may not even operate under such circumstances.
7- Sun Protection
The Texas sun can be nothing less than brutal out on the water, so make sure you pack a couple of sunscreen bottles with you and re-apply the coat every hour or so to avoid sunburns.
8- Diving Mask
You never know when you might need to get in the water to untangle something stuck on your propeller or to dive in the clear sea to swim with the beautiful underwater creatures. Keeping a diving mask on the boat means you’ll never have to deal with a situation where you desperately wished you had one on yourself.
9- Waterproof Headlamp
Keeping a waterproof headlamp can also come in handy when your day trip runs later than planned and you find yourself in trouble getting to things on the boat.
Lastly, stashing some cash on the boat can also offer you a sense of security. For example, suppose you run out of fuel on the water and need to borrow some from a fellow boater. In that case, offering that extra cash can keep you in their good graces while they help you out.
Ultimately, by ensuring you have these ten things onboard when you leave the dock, you can head out on the water with a piece of mind that you can’t experience otherwise!