Boat Safety Checklists
Information from Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources
List of REQUIRED Equipment:
- Boater’s License – For any operators born after July 1, 1972.
- Certificate of Vessel Number
- Registration Decals Displayed
- Life Jackets – Required to have at least one Type I, II, III, or V PDF for each passenger on your boat that are readily accessible. Don’t forget to supply size-appropriate PDFs for any larger friends (we all have them!) or kids on board. Children under 13 years of age MUST wear a PDF while underway on a vessel under 21′ in length. There are additional requirements for PDFs on children under 4 years of age.
- Throwable Floatation Device – If your boat is 16′ or longer, you need to have a throwable Type IV PFD on board that’s immediately accessible.
- Sound-Signaling Device – Such as an air horn (good idea to have a spare can of compressed air or extra battery), bell, or whistle.
- Lights – Check to make sure you have all the required navigation lights and that they’re working properly. Also, always have a flashlight or spotlight on board!
- Fire Extinguishers – Be sure you have a Type B-I fire extinguisher, check that it’s immediately accessible and securely mounted, and not expired.
- Backfire Flame Arrestor – Required on board for permanently installed gasoline engines.
- Visual Distress Signals – Such as flairs. Be sure to check they’re not expired! Boats 16′ or longer must have nighttime AND daytime visual distress signals. Boats less than 16′ must have nighttime visual distress signals.
- Ventilation System
List of RECOMMENDED Equipment:
- VHF Radio – Be sure it’s charged and tuned to Channel 16
- GPS or Navigational Charts and Compass
- First Aid Kit
- Bilge Pump
- Extra Dock Lines
- Nylon Towline – Recommend 75′ x 1/2″
- Cooler – Be sure to pack plenty of water!
- Hat or Visor
- Phone Charger
Are You Missing Any Equipment From These Lists?