Going boating is always a meaningful activity. You should nevertheless remember to take the right equipment with you and ensure that it is in working order. Careful planning and proper preparation assure the success of many boating trips.

Consider the weather
Remember to check the weather forecast before setting out on the water. Suddenly changing conditions can spoil your trip or even pose a danger. If a general storm warning has been issued, you should postpone your trip if at all possible.

Check your equipment
Checking the equipment and taking care of the boat are part of the routine of every boater. You must check that all equipment required by law or necessary for safety is on board and is in working order. Such equipment includes lifejackets for passengers, extinguishing and drainage equipment, signalling devices, oars or a paddle, an anchor and ropes. You should also bring a chart of the area and calculate that you have enough fuel to reach the destination. Every boat should carry some extra fuel for reaching the nearest shore if the weather or other factors change the calculated fuel consumption.

Load properly
Loading and the proper placement of items are important considerations that have a material impact on safety and the boat’s handling. Boats should be loaded so that their centre of gravity is located as low and close to the centre of the hull as possible, so that the boat will not heel unnecessarily in rough seas. You should also check the engine and electrical devices and have them serviced if necessary before setting out.