Ready for the boating season?

  • Apr. 23, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Submitted by the Canadian Safe Boating Council–Every year thousands of boaters go out on the water without giving any thought to how prepared either they or their boats are for the season. Personal preparation involves ensuring you have on-hand your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, up to date nautical charts, a pre-departure checklist and have obtained a reliable marine weather forecast.When it comes to vessel preparedness, one of the first things to ensure is that your boat and engine are mechanically sound. Boats may have been in storage over the winter and may not operate as efficiently as last season. Make sure you follow the recommended maintenance schedule found in your boat’s owner’s manual.The federal government also mandates that specific safety equipment be carried on board. This equipment can be of great benefit and can mean the difference between a great day out on the water and a potential disaster.During Safe Boating Awareness Week (May19-25) and throughout the entire season, the Canadian Safe Boating Council and Smartboater.ca want to remind you to review their safe boating check list before heading out onto the water.Required items vary, depending on boat length, but the list below highlights the things that, at minimum, need be carried on board, in good working condition and within reach each time you go out:Compulsory items required on a typical vessel 6 meters or less in length: . The vessels license or registration if powered by a motor of 7.5 kw (10 hp) or more. A Canadian approved flotation device (PFD) in good repair and of appropriate size for every person on board. Fire extinguisher. Watertight flashlight or flares. Sound signaling device. Buoyant heaving line (minimum 15 m long). Paddle or anchor with at least 15 m of rode and /or chain. Re-boarding device. Bailer or manual water pump. Navigation lightsOther items to check:. Secure batteries. Passive ventilation that allows air to flow through below decks. Exhaust fan or bilge blower that removes dangerous vapours. Flame arrester and heat shielding for inboard engines. Up-to-date charts. Magnetic compass. Radar reflectorReview your check list before your leave-be prepared! Whether you use a power boat, sail boat, personal watercraft, canoe, kayak or fishing boat, find more information on a variety of boating safety tips by visiting www.SmartBoater.ca.