Chapter 8: Operator Responsibility

Operating Your Vessel Responsibly

Pre-Departure Checklist

Boating is a ton of fun, but also a huge responsibility. As a boater, one is responsible for the safety of passengers and it is one's duty to try and operate in a way that does not endanger oneself or those around.

To prepare for a trip, verify that all safety equipment, on board, is in good condition. Also, check to see that the vessel is safe and ready to depart. A pre-departure checklist will help to be prepared for anything and well-equipped in the case of an emergency. Also, be sure to show passengers the locations of all safety equipment and brief them on the proper use so that all are more prepared in an emergency situation.

Before heading out, file a float plan. This bolsters safety by letting others know where one will be boating and how long one plans to be out. This is especially crucial for longer boating trips or trips in unfamiliar waters. Check nautical charts for any local hazards one may encounter as boating. It is also advised that one ask any local boaters about the conditions and hazards of the local waters. Check the weather forecast and conditions before heading out and keep regularly checking in so that all remain informed and prepared.

The passengers are relying on you. So, always operate the vessel with safety in mind!

Finally, it is one's responsibility as a boater to make every effort to learn about any local laws and regulations within the area. Proper and safe boating goes beyond the fundamentals and basics. This course is only the beginning, there is a wealth of knowledge available to further boating education and other courses will continue to improve one's understanding and proficiency.