How To Prepare for a Day of Boating Fun
The key ingredient in any successful and fun boating adventure is proper preparation. Everything from stowing the water toys and remembering to gas up the boat to bringing the sunscreen and packing the right types of snacks can make or break a day on the water. Maybe not so much with the snacks, but you know what we mean. Whether you’re a novice boater or a seasoned sailor, it’s always a good idea to have a checklist of things to do and bring before heading out for the day. Whichever category you happen to fall into, check out our suggestions for preparing for a day of boating fun. Safety first By law, there should always be enough life jackets for everybody on board the boat. You may want to bring along specialized life jackets if you plan to dive, ski or ride jet skis while out on the water. Either way, never leave the dock without life jackets. Stock the first aid kit You never know when you might need something as simple as tweezers or as important as a breathing barrier. Splints, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes and aspirin are just a few of the items to keep in your boat first aid kit. Chart your course Gather up your VHF radio, marine GPS and other navigational devices as well as fish and depth finders, and make sure they are all in working order before leaving the dock. Even if you know the area and aren’t going very far away, properly functioning equipment is a necessity on a boat. If you happen to get off course, that GPS will come in mighty handy. Take along the tool box Hopefully, you’ll never need to use your tool box while out enjoying the day, but it’s something you should always bring along just in case. In addition to other specialized boating tools, a wrench, pliers, socket set and a flashlight are good to have on board the boat. Check the bilge pump Bilge pump cleaning isn’t necessarily a weekly duty, but you should give it a routine inspection every so often. Regular inspecting and cleaning of the bilge can alert you to leaks, loose fittings, corrosion or other issues that could ruin a day on the lake or river. Stow the toys Depending upon your planned activities, don’t forget the fishing rods, water-skis, wakeboards, tubes, snorkel sets or other water-based gear and equipment. Comfort and convenience Be sure to take plenty of fresh drinking water as well as towels and sunscreen. Other items you may want on board for a day on the water include a portable grill, a light jacket or sweatshirt and a hat as well as a cooler stocked with sandwiches, fruit and snacks. The sun is much stronger out on the water, so hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are all items you’ll be happy to have on board.