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While we are all getting excited to get out on the water this season, we are also preparing our boats for safety. Inspections with the coast guard come highly recommended, but what exactly goes into an inspection and overall safety check?

Below are the top 5 key points that should be reviewed just before bringing your boat in for inspections.

  1. Registration.
    Is your boat registration number in the right spot? This needs to be displayed permanently to each side of the forward half of your vessel. You should also have your documentation on board and readily available.
  2. Life Jackets.
    The coast guard refers to these as Personal Floatation Devices. Your boat should be stocked with PFD’s in every size for the people who are on board and they need to be in good condition. Your life jacket should be accessible and free to immediately put on, versus being stored in bags in a storage compartment.
  3. Emergency Supplies.
    If an emergency occurs on your boat, you could need a number of items. Depending on your boat size and build, there are different requirements for the amount and type of safety items. Check your vessel for the following items. If they are not present on board, then be sure to stock up before your inspection.
    – Signal Flares
    – Fire Extinguisher
    – Distress Sound Signal Device (i.e. – whistle, horn, siren, etc.)
    For more information on requirements for these items, click here.
  4. Additional Documentation.
    For vessels that are over a certain length, certain documentation is needed to be displayed or present on board.
    – MARPOL Trash Placard (boats 26ft and over)
    – Pollution Placard (boats 26ft and over)
    – Navigation rules (boats 39ft and over)
  5. Overall Boat Condition.
    With all of the documentation and safety devices that we need to have on board, sometimes we forget that our boat also needs to be presented well. What does this mean?
    – Deck is hazard-free and clean bilge
    – Electrical systems must be protected by fuses or circuit breakers
    – Fuel tanks must be free of any flammable materials close by

This is an immediate and brief checklist that should be considered before going in for an inspection. To take a look at more details around what will be reviewed during your inspection, view this form:

For any questions, please contact us at service@chicagoyachtworks.com or 312.666.6670 and press 1 for Service.

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