Boat Safety Checks

Before taking a boat out on the water, there are a few basic checks you should make to ensure safety. First of all, verify that all the relevant exhaust clamps are attached tightly. You can also inspect the components of the exhaust system to determine whether there is any exhaust leakage. This problem typically exhibits itself as rust, black streaks, or fittings that are corroded or cracked. After starting the boat, you should check to make sure that water flows out of the exhaust outlet when the engines and generator have been started. With the engine running, listen closely for any changes in the sound made by the exhaust system. Any variation in the sound made by the exhaust system may indicate that one of the exhaust components is failing. Finally, every time you start the boat test the operation of each carbon monoxide detector. There are a few other basic checks that need to be performed on a boat at least once a year. If there is any indication of deterioration in the exhaust hoses, as for instance cracking or charring, they should be replaced. Both the water pump housing and the water pump impeller need to be checked annually; if there is significant wear or any cracking, the equipment should be replaced.

Finally, you should make sure that the generator cooling water anti-siphon valve is operational. If you are not qualified to perform any of these checks, you should enlist the aid of a qualified marine technician. In addition to this basic maintenance schedule, there is a list of basic safety equipment that every boat should have before it ventures out onto the water. Every boat needs to have: one lifejacket for every person aboard; fire extinguishers; navigation lights; visual distress signals; backfire flame arrestor; VHF marine radio; magnetic compass; anchor and tackle; spare fuses, spark plugs, and belts; flashlight and spare batteries; food and water; extra clothing; and a mirror.

SHORTCUTS TO WATER SAFETY ARTICLES:

Water Safety and Boating Safety Courses
Jet Ski Accidents
Jet Ski Safety
Jet Ski Injuries
Boat Safety Checks
Boat Trailer Safety Tips
Water Skiing Safety Tips
Jones Act
Pleasure Boat Accidents
Fishing accidents
Offshore Accidents
Avoiding Thunderstorms While Boating
The Basics of Lifejackets
The Right of Way in Boating
Using an Anchor in a Shifting Current or Wind
Emergency Communications While Boating
Boating and Hypothermia
Boating and the Heimlich Maneuver
Water Safety and Boating Safety Courses