It’s Time for a Spring Boating Checklist!

It doesn’t matter the boat: every time you go on the water, you’re potentially putting your life at risk. That’s why it’s essential to make sure whatever boat you’re getting on has the proper equipment.

However, when you look at basic supply lists, all too often they don’t include paper charts. What happens when your GPS breaks down? Or, if it isn’t working properly for some reason? No matter where you are, often times this can spell disaster.

The right chart gives you the full picture of the water surrounding you. When you’re planning out your route, you don’t want to be squinting at the small screen of a GPS and fumbling with its buttons. You’ll get the whole view when you sit down and work with a paper chart, making it easier for you to use your GPS.

That’s why, in addition to the items on this list, we would like to give you a friendly reminder that you’re going to need a good paper chart along for the ride.

  • Spare Fuel: Always ensure that you have enough spare fuel so that if you get off course, you can get back.
  • Engine Tools: Even if you don’t know how to fix an engine, you may be able to find help or be lucky enough to have someone with you that does know.
  • Alternative Propulsion: So, the tools didn’t help with the engine problem? At least you have those oars and that sail…right?
  • Anchor and Rope: These are great for preventing your boat from moving. Also, rope has plenty of uses. Just make sure it’s the right rope.
  • Knife: From fending off hungry sharks to defending yourself from a mutiny (among other things), for thousands of years knives have been a sailor’s best friend. Don’t stop the tradition now!
  • First Aid Kit: Make sure it’s not stocked with only SpongeBob bandages. Why not get one of these commercial kits?
  • Life Jackets: This is a must on any boat. Make sure that there are plenty for everyone.
  • Signaling Device / Flares / Flashlight: All are very useful for trying to get someone’s attention. Your chances of being found at sea are much lower without them.
  • Water: No, you can’t drink the ocean. Even if you’re surrounded by water, you’re going to get thirsty. Bring along water to avoid risk of dehydration.
  • Compass: While we completely understand the value of GPS systems, there is so much that can go wrong with them. If you only have your GPS with you when you’re out on the water, that’s just asking for trouble. That’s why you should make sure you have a reliable compass and, of course…
  • OceanGrafix Paper Charts: Your compass and GPS will be more useful with them and they’re essential for back-up.
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