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Keep your vessel safe with a boat safety checklist

Boat Safety Checklist is an important document for boaters to help ensure their safety on the water. It includes safety tips and reminders such as weather conditions, equipment maintenance, communication and navigation, and emergency preparedness. It is essential for all boaters to use the checklist before each trip to help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Customize this checklist according to your country or state-specific Coast Guard requirements.

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Keep your vessel safe with a boat safety checklist

Boat's Details

Boat's License Number
Hull Identification Number
Port of Embarkation
Port of Disembarkation


Have I checked the latest weather report and tides/currents?
Have I filed a float plan?
To whom did I share it with?
Attach screenshot/picture of the float plan (optional)
Have I identified non-swimmers?
Have I identified a second-in-command?
Have I diligently accomplished the Boat Safety Equipment Checklist?
Have I shared with the crew and passengers the location of the safety equipment?
Have I demonstrated the engine shutdown technique?
Have I checked bilges and pump dry if there is water present?

Before Engine Start

Did I run the blower for at least 4 minutes? [Only applicable if gasoline is inboard]
Have I checked lubricating oil?
Have I checked fuel level?
Did I make sure buzzers sound on engine panel?

Engine Start

Have I checked the cooling water and oil pressure?
Did I try to fit and attach the kill switch lanyard?

On The Water

Have I familiarized myself with the waters I'm navigating?
Am I using VHF radio weather channels to continuously be alert?
Do I know where the nearest harbor is?
Where is it?
Am I monitoring fuel consumption?
Am I ready to lend assistance in case of emergency?

Return to the Dock

Have I moored the boat correctly (with bow, stern, spring lines, and fenders)?
Did I ensure snubbers are in place, and lines are protected from chafe?
Did I pump the holding tank?
Always-on loads (automatic bilge pump, alarms, clocks) are on?
Non-essential loads (running lights, VHF, Stereo, etc) are off?
Is the shorepower cable connected and battery on?
Have I filled-out, signed, and dated the logbook?
Have I called the person I shared the float plan with?


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A Boat Safety Checklist is a comprehensive guide to ensure the safety of boat owners and passengers. The checklist covers all the necessary precautions to be taken before and during a boat ride, such as checking the weather, inspecting the boat and its equipment, filing a float plan, having the right safety gear on board, and understanding navigation rules. It also includes advice on how to deal with emergencies and information on safety courses available. By following a Boat Safety Checklist, boat owners and passengers can have a safe and enjoyable ride.

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