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Overton's Boater Safety Checklist
Before launching your boat, there are a few concerns that should be addressed to ensure you have an enjoyable day on the water. We've provided the following checklist to cover some of the necessary rules and precautions and to help you get on the water as soon as possible. But always remember, Safety First!
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Safety Items

Life Jackets - Life jackets for every passenger with extra jackets available for additional guests. Recognize non-swimmers; make sure their life jackets fit and that they wear them while on the water.

Throw Cushions - Flotation devices stored in an easy-to-access location for throwing, if necessary.

Flares - Flares and other distress signals stored in a dry, accessible place.

Fire extinguishers - Fire extinguishers should be within reach and visible.

Location - All passengers need to be familiar with each safety item, where it is located, and the rules for using it should the situation present itself.

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Boat Performance

Instruments and Lights - Inspect all instruments and navigation lights to ensure they're working properly.

Oil and Fuel - Check the oil and coolant levels, bilges and pumps, and fuel tank. When adding fuel, use the rule of thirds (1/3 outbound, 1/3 inbound, 1/3 reserved) to effectively determine when to refill without risking an empty tank.

Battery Check - Make sure the battery is charged and providing current.

Anchors - Have one anchor set up and ready to use.

Dock Rope - and Dock lines should be accessible with extras available when needed.

Co-Captain - Designate a second-in-command/an assistant skipper to take over in the event one is needed.

Radio and GPS - Turn on all VHF radios and GPS units to make sure they are functioning properly.

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Plans and Paperwork

Licenses and Permits - All pertinent information (licenses, permits, registrations, etc.) should be onboard and easily accessible.

Maps - Regardless of familiarity with location, charts for navigating should be accessible and used.

Communicate - Leave a float plan with someone you know, detailing where you're going, when you're returning, and what steps to follow in the event the plan isn't followed accordingly.

Check The Weather - Always check the weather forecast before departing and remain cognizant of tide/current changes while on the water.

Above all else, use common sense. Avoid alcohol while operating a boat; if you choose to drink, save it as a reward once everyone has returned to the shore safely. Regardless of experience, safety should always be a priority.

Bass Fishing