With the prime fishing season getting underway, now is the perfect time to check the boat’s safety gear. Requirements vary from state to state on certain items, but having the essentials in good working order could mean the difference between a quick rescue or a long, uncomfortable soak. Here are the safety items that need attention:
Inspect each pump and clean or replace any filters. Make sure all are working properly in both the manual and automatic modes. Bilge pumps should be wired independently from battery switches so power is always available.
Sea Anchor/Drift Sock
Check the sea anchor and rode for rips, tears or dry rot. Replace as necessary. It’s always prudent to opt for larger sea anchors rather than smaller.
Read Next: Pre-Season Boat Safety Check
First Aid Kit
Replace old, damp bandages with fresh ones. Replace and replenish pain pills, sea sickness treatments and any other perishables.
Don’t depend on cellular coverage in emergencies. A waterproof, handheld VHF allows communication with other boaters and rescue authorities, even if the boat loses all power. Make sure it is fully charged and do a radio check to ensure transmit and receiving operation.