Captain Rick Blog

Just Some Boating Tips!

Spring is finally here, we have to Spring into Action.

Posted by on in Navigation Tips

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After a brutal winter full of snow, wind and even a polar vortex; Friday March 21st marks the first day of spring.  With spring around the corner, warmer, more enjoyable weather will come along and boating season will get back into full swing. The weather has risen to the mid 50’s.

As we rush to the boats and the desire to put them back in use; here is a checklist to ensure the safety and integrity of your boat. Taking these few steps will keep you and your guests safe on the water.

  • The visual exam, walk around your vessel to make sure that there are no damages or scratches. If any are found make sure you have them repaired immediately.
  • Clean windows, hatches and all other area’s so that there is a clean line of sight.
  • Inspect the swim platform to ensure safety for those who wish to go in the water.
  • Inspect the boats registration to make sure it is onboard and also that it is valid.
  • Ensure that you have a tool box including extra batteries and a working flashlight.
  • Make sure that your U.S.C.G certified fire extinguisher has proper charge and is mounted properly near the helm.
  • Ensure that all the lighting are in proper working order
  • Check the expiration date of your flares or signaling equipment is on board.
  • Look to see that you have updated Charts.
  • Ensure that you have a working horn on board and if it is an air horn, have an extra bottle of air.
  • Check to see that you have enough life jackets on board; this should be checked for every trip. Inspect each one individually for damage and to make sure each one are clean and free of rot. It is always a good idea to keep more onboard then the number of guests onboard.
  • Inspect and replenish your first aid kit on board – In case you have used supplies last season.
  • Look at navigational equipment by checking your radar reflector and a just your compass as well.
  • Inspect antenna’s to make sure it is intact and that there is no wear and tear.
  • Inspect the anchor, chain and rode (line). Check that there is no damage or wear and replace securely. I recommend a backup anchor (backups to the backups!)
  • Check Shifters and lubricate if necessary.
  • Check all Fluids and have extra on board.
  • Inspect all lines and fenders.
  • Inspect propellers for any damage.
  • Have a USCG Vessel safety check performed prior to your maiden voyage.
  • Review and revise your pre-departure Checklist, it is a good idea to have it laminated for repeated use.
  • Most importantly follow all recommended manufacturers maintenance schedule on all mechanical systems on board.

Take your family and friends to the NYS Boating and PWC safety Course. Check us out at:

US Boat School ~ Boating and PWC Safety Courses (Public & Private), Hands on Training
NYC Captain ~ Boater Educator, Yacht Transport, Captain for Hire, Yacht Charter

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