A List of Everything you Need Before Leaving the Dock
Owning a fishing boat comes with responsibility. As the boat captain, you’re in charge of all passengers, whether there are two people or twenty, and are accountable for their safety. While every EdgeWater Boat is built to run safely in the most extreme offshore environments, you still need a safety plan. We’ve put together an essential boating checklist to help you prepare for a day on the water.
Set an official plan for your destination, departure time, and expected time of return. Write a list of everyone on board with full names and phone numbers. List the types of communication and signal equipment on board. Share it with a friend or relative ashore just in case.
Check fuel levels and add the necessary amount before leaving. Assume that you have one third for outbound, one third inbound, and one third on reserve. EdgeWater Boats are very fuel efficient but you’ll want to take weather conditions into account as wind and chop will mean you’ll be burning more fuel.
Look over the control panel and gauges to confirm that all lights, the radio and communication devices, and blowers function properly.
Floating Key Chain
Put a floating bobber on your set of keys just in case you drop them in the water. Always have a spare key on hand so you don’t get stranded.
Be Weather Conscious
ALWAYS check the local weather radar and sea reports before departing. Pay close attention to weather conditions while out on the water as well. Harsh conditions can blow in quickly so you need to remain aware at all times. It may be sunny and calm now, but be prepared for the weather to change quickly.
Have an Assistant
It’s best to have more than one person on the boat who is familiar with operating and boater’s safety. If the boat driver is unable to navigate for any means, the assistant can safely get everyone back to shore.
Make sure that all lines and the shore power cable have been disconnected before leaving the dock.
What to Bring:
You should always have your boat certificate and registration on board the vessel.
Personal flotation devices (PFDs)
Each passenger should have their own life jacket. Keep a throwable PFD/life preserver on board in case someone falls into the water and you need to retrieve them. If there is anyone who does not know how to swim, make them wear a PFD at all times.
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon
An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is a must have safety device if you are going offshore. Once activated, these devices will send your location to the nearest coast guard and also have a strobe light so you can be seen.
In case there is a motor or electrical emergency, always have an up-to-date fire extinguisher on deck. EdgeWater Boat models come with fire extinguishers so be sure that these have not been removed and are in working condition before you leave.
First Aid Kit
Have a fully stocked emergency first aid kit for potential injuries.
Spending a day out in the sun can cause dehydration. Bring a cooler with refreshments to keep everyone hydrated. Drink responsibly.
Bring additional clothing such as a hat, warm clothes, and rain-proof gear in case of a change in weather.
Anchor & GPS
If you feel like resting on the water, have an anchor and extra line ready to tie and throw over. Drifting around an area can lead you to dangerous or unfamiliar zones if you are not paying attention and do not have GPS radar on board. Always have a compass (this is standard on all EdgeWater Boat models), a map of the area and be aware of your location. EdgeWater Boat models can be equipped with Garmin Electronics so you know exactly where you are heading.
Sunscreen, 100% UV sunglasses, and tightly-woven, loose-fitting clothing, and wide-brimmed hats are all important to protect your skin and prevent sun damage.
If you are still not sure if your boat is safe, get a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) free of charge by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Remember that everyone plays a part in boating safety! Make sure that all of your passengers are fully aware of boating rules and locations of the important items aboard. While EdgeWater may build unsinkable boats that exceed industry standards for safety, it’s up to the boat owners and passengers to follow guidelines to stay safe in the event of an accident or unexpected bad weather.