By Russ Thetonia
Routine: A prescribed, detailed course of action to be followed regularly; a standard procedure. When preparing for a day on the water, the routine can be your best friend. Before a routine becomes a habit, a detailed list is an invaluable tool. I have assembled a set of lists to guide you along the way to a safe and productive outing. This aren’t lists to remind you to bring rods, tackle, attractant, etc, but more so lists of safety-related items that should be religiously checked before each outing until it becomes second nature, and the lists are no longer needed.
We are creatures of habit so molding a positive habit when dealing with the water is a survival essential, and a good lesson to be passed on. Include your kids in safety checks!! Keep them involved and explain what each thing does, and why it needs to be checked each and every time it’s used.
This is the collective list. Below this is a list for the “night before” as many of the items on the primary list will be stowed aboard for the season.
- Alternate propulsion (i.e. paddle or oar)
- Anchors & Line
- Batteries (fully charged and encased in plastic boxes)
- Bilge device (bilge pump operable, alternative bailing device)
- Boat lights
- Bright flashlight or searchlight
- Boat & trailer registration, permits, licenses
- Bug repellant
- Drinking water (1 gallon per person, per day)
- Fire extinguisher (right number, size, and class for boat; charged, not corroded, nozzle clear, bracketed, readily accessible)
- First aid kit i.e. Band-Aids, first-aid Cream, Campo-Phenique (good for minor burns, cuts, and scrapes), Tums, lip balm.
- Killswitch (check with motor started)
- Map/Charts (in waterproof container)
- Matches/fire starter (in waterproof container)
- Navigation lights & spare bulbs
- Boat plug
- Pocket knife
- Sound producing device (i.e. whistle, horn)
- Spare trailer tire (check condition)
- Toilet paper
- Trailer lights (and brakes if applicable)
- Spare prop and lock-nut or shear pin
- Weather radio
- Visual distress signals (check current dates on flares, proper number)
- Watch or clock