9 Essential Fishing Boat Safety Checks for a Fun-Filled Summer

Hitting the water for the first fishing boat trip? Hold on, captain! Before you cast off, ensure a smooth and safe adventure by giving your boat a thorough once-over. Here’s a checklist to make sure your vessel is ready to conquer the waves:

1. Life Jacket Check: These lifesavers are crucial. Inspect for rips, tears, or any damage. Ensure all life jackets fit snugly, especially for the little ones.

2. Fire Extinguisher Check: Fire extinguishers can lose pressure over winter. Verify yours is present, charged, and readily accessible.

3. Registration Check: Avoid a coast guard citation! Make sure your boat registration is current (they typically expire year-end). Affix the latest decal before setting sail.

4. Charge Up: Don’t get stranded! Fully charge your boat’s batteries and confirm they hold a good charge.

5. Electronics & Lights Check: Electronics can malfunction during storage. Test your navigation lights, bilge pump, and all other crucial equipment. Look for damaged wiring that might need replacing.

6. Test Run the Engine: Avoid a frustrating launch-day surprise. Start your engine on land to confirm everything runs smoothly. Check your “outboard ears” (engine cooling system) for proper function.

7. Inspect the Hull: Take a walk around your boat and meticulously examine the hull for cracks or any other damage that might have occurred over the winter. Ensure your drain plug is present and in good condition.

8. Trailer Tune-Up: Before hitting the road, properly grease your trailer wheel bearings. Verify your winch and other trailer equipment function flawlessly.

9. Gas Up & Go! Consider replacing old gas with fresh fuel. Double-check that all fuel lines are securely connected and free from damage.

Now you’re ready for a fantastic summer on the water!

Image/Source: NDOW

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