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Trip preparation checklist

Know your boat

It is your responsibility to make sure the boat is safe to use, you know how to use it properly and you have the right safety equipment. This is your general safety obligation.

Home or marina maintenance

Testing of your boat, trailer and the equipment on board the boat.


  • Plan the trip and select suitable anchorage locations.
  • Establish an emergency plan.
  • Be sure the boat is suitable for the conditions.
  • Establish tidal predictions and range.
  • Estimate travel times.
  • Calculate adequate fuel plus reserve.
  • Make sure batteries are fully charged.
  • Load and check safety equipment.
  • Check tool kit and repair/replacement spares.
  • Replenish first aid supplies.
  • Obtain the latest weather observations and predictions.
  • Gather the latest bar crossing information.
  • Limit alcohol consumption – 0.05 on the water.
  • Tell someone where you are going.

Launching and getting underway

  • Use the rigging lane at the car park.
  • Check the bungs are screwed in firmly.
  • Secure all loose items in the boat.
  • Instruct all passengers on safety requirements.
  • Wait your turn to launch.
  • Log on with the local volunteer marine rescue group.
  • Life jackets must be worn by all children under 12 years of age, in open boats under 4.8 m when underway.
  • Put on life jackets before crossing designated coastal bars.
  • Listen to broadcast of up to date weather forecasts.
  • Choose the correct anchor for the location.
  • Take care of the environment (oil, chemical, sewage).
  • Radio the volunteer marine rescue group with any change of location or observed dangers.
  • Display correct navigation lights (running and anchored).

Upon returning

  • Log off with the local volunteer marine rescue group.
  • Wait your turn to retrieve your boat onto the trailer.
  • Use the rigging lane at the ramp to secure boat and gear.
  • Isolate all battery power sources.
  • Unscrew bungs to release water.

Home or marina maintenance

  • Clean and flush the boat's motor.
  • Inspect the boat for wear and tear.
  • Boat, trailer and equipment care.
Last updated
10 February 2015