Plan Ahead for a Safe Boating Trip

Planning ahead before going boating can make for a safer and more enjoyable boat trip, all boaters should complete a Pre-Departure Checklist before heading out. A Pre-Departure Checklist is a great way to avoid unsuitable boating conditions, reduce the risk of a breakdown, and to ensure you have the required boat safety equipment on board.

Pre-Departure Checklist


  • I have properly maintained my boat or PWC and its components
  • I have all required safety equipment on board and in good working condition
  • I have enough PFDs or lifejackets of the correct size for each person on board
  • I have an emergency repair kit on board with spare parts suitable for my type and size of pleasure craft and engine
  • I have a first aid kit on board including dry clothing, drinking water, sun protection, and emergency rations
  • I have all distress equipment on board and know how to use it properly
  • I have an effective and properly functioning means of communication, such as a cell phone or VHF radio
  • I have stowed equipment in an appropriate and accessible location on board


  • I have enough fuel for the boat trip - 1/3 out, 1/3 back, 1/3 in reserve
  • I have thoroughly checked the condition of my craft, engine and fittings
  • I have shared my trip plan, where I am going and when I plan to return with a responsible individual
  • I have reviewed emergency and safety procedures and practiced the proper techniques
  • I have reviewed each passenger's responsibilities before heading out
  • I have explained the location and correct use of required safety equipment with each passenger

Waterways and Weather Conditions:

  • I have the marine charts and/or nautical publications for the area in which I'll be boating
  • I have researched and know the location of any local hazard
  • I know of any boating restrictions that may apply in the area in which I'll be boating
  • I have checked the local marine weather forecast
  • I know of or have marked the location of safe harbours/marinas

Be a smart boater and plan ahead!

Plan ahead, make sure you have enough fuel

Plan ahead for a safe boating trip