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boat emergency kit checklist

Emergency Boating Kit Checklist

What Emergency and Safety Equipment Do You Need on Your Yacht?

 

An emergency boating kit should be on board with you at all times. All boaters know that nothing can be more relaxing than a day on the water, whether it’s an early morning fishing trip, an afternoon of sightseeing or a multi-day trip. After all, there’s nothing like the feel of the sea air on your face as you enjoy leisure time on your yacht or sailing boat.

However, experienced boaters also know that things can go wrong quickly; so it’s important to be prepared with the boat safety equipment and tools you might need in an unexpected incident.

Having a comprehensive boating emergency kit onboard your vessel will provide reassurance and practical assistance should anything unexpected happen such as:

  • Someone falling overboardBoating Equipment Kit Checklist cover image
  • A sick or injured passenger
  • A collision with another boat or stationery item like a rock
  • Your boat suffers a mechanical failure

What Do I Need in My Boat Emergency Kit?

There are some essential items that all marine emergency kits should contain. Transport Canada does require all boats to carry certain safety and emergency equipment which depends on the size of the vessel.

What do I need in my Emergency Boating Kit

This includes:

  • Lifesaving appliances such as PFDs and flotation devices
  • Visual signals
  • Navigation equipment
  • Firefighting equipment

Find out what your specific vessel is required to carry by checking out the safe boating guide on the Transport Canada website.

What Do the Best Boating Emergency Kits Include?

Boating First Aid Kit Contents

When putting together your boating emergency kit, consider what you will need in each of the following categories:

  • Survival gear
  • Signaling equipment
  • Navigation tools
  • Safety gear
  • First Aid kit

Survival Gear: This is the equipment that will help you to survive should you or a passenger end up in the water and includes:

Flotation Devices: Life-jackets save lives in Canadian waters every year. Make sure you have enough lifejackets or PFDs for each person on board.  It is important that these fit well and meet Canadian standards.Check out this guide to choosing a lifejacket for more information.

Throwable Flotation Devices: All vessels over 9m long need to carry a lifebuoy attached to a buoyant line and a separate buoyant heaving line. You may also wish to include some throw cushions for extra options.

Signaling Tools

If you have an emergency on your personal watercraft you may need to get the attention of the coast guard or another vessel to help you. The best way to do this is to be highly visible and make a lot of noise:

Signaling Tools for boaters in distress

Visual Distress Signals: Make sure your boat meets the requirements for day and night lights to ensure you are as visible as possible. Also carry at least one waterproof flashlight and flares, including light and smoke flares, as well as bright flags.

Sound Distress Signals: Make sure your horn and bell on your vessel are working and you know the international emergency sound signals. Also consider carrying an air horn and whistles for additional attention especially if you have to abandon ship and enter the water.

VHF Radio: Have a fitted or handheld VHF radio onboard which enables you to contact other nearby vessels and the coast guard. Learn and write down the emergency broadcast frequency in case you need it.

Navigation Tools

Knowing where you are and what is around you is important if you are in an emergency situation. 

Manual Navigation: Always carry a magnetic compass, charts and ruler so you can manually chart and track your location.

Electronic Navigation: Many boats have built-in GPS trackers which are useful for establishing your location. Radar systems will also help you to identify what is around you and whether another vessel is in your area. Both are available in portable versions if you do not have them built into your boat.

Emergency Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) which send out GPS distress signals when activated, can be a good way to keep track of someone who goes overboard.

Safety Gear

For general onboard safety, you should also include some of the following equipment in your boating emergency kit:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Additional food and water
  • Manual bilge pump or bailing device
  • Small tool kit
  • Weather gear including raincoats or ponchos, a warm jacket, sunscreen and sun hat
  • Dry change of clothes
  • Waterproof matches
  • Knife sharp enough to cut rope
  • Batteries
  • Portable fuel tanks

First Aid Kit

Health emergencies can happen onboard a boat, some – such as nausea – are less serious but can ruin the enjoyment of the trip. Other health emergencies can be more serious.

Carrying a comprehensive first aid kit on board means you have the ability to help whatever the circumstances. Boat owners may wish to consider taking a first aid course through Canadian Red Cross or another recognized organization.

A good first aid kit should include:

  • Gauze, bandages and waterproof band-aidsFirst Aid kit for boats
  • Adhesive tape
  • Gloves
  • Scissors
  • Antiseptic
  • Pain relievers
  • Tweezers
  • Anti-histamines
  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Sunscreen
  • Spare prescription medications
  • Emergency blankets

Where Should I Store My Marine Emergency Kit?

The majority of your emergency kit can be stored together in a large waterproof container. Make sure the container is in an easily accessible position, not in the back of a storage hold or underneath other boxes, as you might need to get at it in a hurry.

Check your emergency kit and equipment each time you sail. Replace anything that is running low or past its use-by date.

Van Isle Marina – A Safe and Secure Place to Anchor Up 

Van Isle Marina, located in Sidney, BC, is one of the province’s largest full-service marinas. Our location makes us a great starting and finishing point for short or longer boating adventures. We offer short-stay, monthly and annual moorage options and offer first-class amenities including a marine fuel dock, boat haul-out and even a restaurant. 

You can store your emergency kit equipment and other personal items you don’t want to leave on your yacht in our secure, heated storage lockers. Visit us today in Tsehum Harbour or contact us to find out more about our marina and moorage options.

 

boating equipment checklist

Boating Equipment Checklist

Use this Basic Boating Equipment Checklist to Ensure You Have Everything You’ll Need for Your Next Trip

 

There’s nothing like getting out on the water on a sunny summer day, or really, any day! Whether you’re going to a nearby cove for a day of fishing, or further out to explore the open waters, always take the time to make sure your boat is properly equipped. In addition to our full boat maintenance checklist, this boating equipment checklist gets back to the basics. It will help you make sure you have everything you could need in the event of a generator outage, electronics failure, a leak, if someone is injured or if you just need to complete a quick fix. Boating Equipment Checklist cover image

Most of the time, everything goes off without a hitch and you and your guests have an amazing boating trip. Just in case, take the time to review this list. It’s also a good idea to keep a printed copy of it in your fireproof box with other documents like your boat registration.

Documentation

To keep your paper documents completely secure, we recommend stowing them in a dry box in an easy-to-reach area on board.

  • Registration on board
  • Validation decal on display
  • Registration numbers
  • Boating safety certificate
  • Fishing licenses
  • Manual charts
  • Float plan for your route and intended destination (make sure a relative or friend has a copy)


First Aid and Safety Equipmentboating emergency kit PFD

Be prepared for anything with plenty of PFDs and a fully stocked first aid kit large enough for the number of people on board.

  • Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) – one per person
  • Throwable PFD
  • Lifebuoy
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Flame arrestor
  • Horn, whistle, bell or other noise making device
  • First aid kit
  • Flares or other visual distress signal 


Anchor and Mooring Equipment

Always be ready to anchor and keep plenty of extra line on hand.

  • Extra anchor
  • Extra line
  • Extra heaving line
  • Oars
  • Ladder for boarding and disembarking
  • Tender- Check to make sure it’s in good shape


Navigationboating emergency kit navigation equipment

Newer boats are fully loaded with top-of-the line nav equipment, but it’s always a good idea to have manual equipment on hand. 

  • Navigation lights
  • VHF radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Wind up flashlights
  • Compass
  • EPIRB- Emergency Positioning Radio Beacon


Sun and Weather Protection 

Out on the water, you’re even more exposed to the elements. Be ready for any weather by ensuring you have sun, wind and rain protection.

  • Sunscreen
  • Close-toed shoes
  • Hatboating emergency kit bilge pump
  • Rain jacket
  • Change of clothing / towels
  • Fresh water 

Extras to Keep on Boardboating emergency kit jerry can

Don’t be left stranded and frustrated. Make sure you have extra fuel and oil on board, in case the fueling station is temporarily closed.

  • Manual bailer for the bilge
  • Extra fuel. Remember the one-third rule (one-third fuel for trip out, one-third fuel for trip back and one-third fuel for reserve.) 
  • Extra oil 
  • Toolbox and tools for quick fixes
  • Spare parts 


Click here to download our Boating Equipment checklist as a PDF

Is this the year you’re making the leap to boating? Looking for that perfect used boat? Come and talk to us at Van Isle Marina. We have a wide selection of gorgeous new and pre-loved yachts and cruisers to choose from, including the world-class Pursuit line of boatsBrowse our new and used listings, then contact our expert yacht broker to find the boat you’ve always dreamed of.

Pre-departure & Boat launch checklist

Pre-Departure and Boat Launch Checklist

A Quick Pre-Trip Checklist for Your Boat

Before you head out onto the water, it’s important to complete a short boat launch checklist prior to every launch. This ensures you have everything you need and your boat is ready for a day at sea. This pre-departure check is similar to what you’d do when checking over your car or truck before a short trip. This whole checklist should take no longer than 20 minutes if everything is ready to go from your last launch. boat launch checklist PDF

Trailer
If you’re trailering your boat back to the water, it’s a good idea to give the trailer itself a quick check

  • Check trailer tires for pressure and refill if needed
  • Check tongue latch and coupling
  • Check trailer brake fluid level
  • Check trailer lights and replace as needed
  • Check the padding and rollers

 

DocumentsBoating documents
Before heading out, make sure all your important documents are on board

  • Check for boaters’ license
  • Check for ship’s papers
  • Check for fishing licenses on board
  • Put any required documents on display
  • Have your wallet on hand with credit card and ID info


Safety Equipment and Gearboat launch checklist - safety equipment
Up-to-date safety equipment is so important for fun and safety on the water. Safety inspections are always available with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron (CPS-ECP)

  • Check flares for expiry dates
  • Check lifejackets and make sure there are enough for everyone on board
  • Check radio to make sure it works. Replace batteries or charge if needed
  • Check fire and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguishers


Navigation
Navigation equipment should be checked and properly calibrated before every single trip, even just a short trip

  • Check the navigation lights
  • Check the compass to make sure it’s properly calibrated
  • Ensure you have all necessary maps and charts
  • Check the GPS and make sure it’s working


Anchors, Lines and Ropesboat launch checklist - check the boat anchor
All mooring and anchoring equipment should be clean and easy to reach

  • Is anchor securely fastened with proper knots?
  • Is there any damage to the anchor?
  • Make sure there’s enough line to be able to easily throw out anchor and moor 
  • Make sure there is extra line in case of emergency
  • Check the knots in the line
  • Check for any damage to the line

 

Engine and Fuel System
The heart of your boat, you won’t get very far without the engine! If you notice any strange noises or smoke, contact a boat mechanic for assistance

  • Fill fuel tank
  • Run the engine and listen for any trouble
  • Check fuel lines for any leaks or damage
  • Check that all fittings are tightened
  • Check that exhaust, engine and ventilation systems are in good shape
  • Run the engine and check for smoke
  • Check transom mounts (outboard)


Fluid Levels
Topped-up fluids will keep your steering system and engine working hard. Always check and top up your boat’s fluids

  • Check coolant
  • Check engine oil
  • Check power steering fluid
  • Check power trim reservoirs
  • Check coolant levels

 

Electricalpre-departure checklist - check navigational instruments
As boaters, we rely heavily on electrical equipment for a safe and comfortable experience. Take a few minutes to check each of the electrical components.

  • Check all connections for corrosion and cleanliness
  • Remove battery terminals, clean connections with wire brush
  • Check the battery is charged. Replace if needed
  • Test the generator on full tilt
  • Check interior and exterior lights
  • Check navigational equipment (GPS)
  • Check electrical box
  • Check HVAC and / or air conditioner while running on hot and cold


Bilge
Always check to make sure the bilge is in good shape and the drain plug is secure.

  • Make sure the bilge is drained of excess water and free of fumes
  • Check for any plugged intakes
  • Check to make sure the bilge pump is working
  • Check to make sure a spare drain plug is on board

 

Lights
Check all interior and exterior lights to make sure you’ll never be left in the dark

  • Check safety lights 
  • Check lights in cabin and head (if applicable)
  • Double-check navigation lights and emergency lights
  • Check lights in livewells

 

PropellerPre-departure boat checklist - check propeller
If you see any marks or chips, this could affect your propeller’s performance.  If in doubt, talk to a pro about repair or replacement

  • Check all propellers for any damage
  • Make sure propellers are secure and replace bearings if needed

 

Interiorboat launch checklist - check interior
The cabin is your home away from home, particularly on multi-day trips. Take a few minutes to check lighting, appliances and water, to ensure a relaxing trip

  • Check for water pressure and quality
  • Check for leaks in fridge
  • Check temperature in fridge / freezer
  • Test the appliances
  • Check TV, speakers and any other extras

 

At Van Isle Marina, we offer moorage with annual, monthly and guest options. Conveniently located in sunny Sidney, BC, moorage with us is just moments from countless destinations. With amenities like storage locker, car parking, and a full-service marine fueling station and dock store, you’ll find everything you could need to outfit your boat and get ready for your trip. Come and see us, or request services/moorage information today.

Boat Trailer Checklist PDF

Boat Trailer Checklist

Your Boat Trailer Will Always Be Ready to Go with This Easy Maintenance Guide

Boat trailer checklist from Van Isle Marina

For those who store their boat on dry land, or who might like to tow their boat to a favourite inland lake, the boat trailer is an essential piece of equipment. To properly tow and launch your boat, the trailer must be in excellent shape. That’s why we’ve created this checklist for the care and keeping of your boat trailer.

Regulations

As with any vehicle, always check to make sure your trailer is legal and ready for the road.
  • Check to make sure registration is current
  • Check to make sure the boat load doesn’t exceed 85% of rated trailer capacity
  • Check to make sure the trailer plus boat load doesn’t exceed 85% of towing vehicle capacity

Physical Condition of Trailerboat trailer checklist PDF

Lubrication is key for a safe and secure trailer. When in doubt, have your trailer checked by a reputable professional.
  • Check for corrosion and broken welds
  • Check all rollers and pads for wear. Ensure proper support for the boat
  • Check and lubricate wheel bearings as needed
  • Check and lubricate winch as needed
  • Check tongue jack and wheel and lubricate as needed
  • Check tongue lock and lubricate as needed

Tires and Bearings

boat trailer checklist - tires

Trailer tires go from long trips on hot asphalt and backroads to cool water, making them prone to wear and cracking. Always check tires for wear periodically.
  • Inspect tire guard and fender
  • Check tire pressure
  • Check tire wear and ensure they have adequate tread > 1/4 inch
  • Check that lugs are properly tightened and lubricated
  • Check for a spare and ensure spare is road-ready
  • Check that bearings have been replaced within manufacturer guidelines

Trailer Hook Up

The ball, coupler, tie down straps and safety chains must always be completely secured to ensure safety on the road.
  • Check that the trailer ball matches coupler size and is securely engaged. The jack should not be able to lift the coupler off the ball
  • Check that the trailer ball is properly torqued
  • Check that the ball mount is secure in the receiver tube with either a hitch pin or lock
  • Check that the coupler latch is locked and secure via hitch pin or lock
  • Check that the trailer jack is fully retracted
  • Check that safety chains are hooked up and crisscrossed beneath the coupler. This will keep the coupler from hitting the road in case of an accident
  • Check that all tie down straps are in good shape and secured

boat trailer checklist - hook up

Trailer Brakes

boat trailer checklist - brake lights

If your trailer is equipped with brakes, you’ll need to check the brake fluid as often as you’d check the brake fluid levels on your main vehicle.
  • Check brake lines from actuator to brake clusters
  • Check brake fluid level
  • Check for proper operation when connected to the towing vehicle
  • Check running lights on vehicle and trailer
  • Check brake lights on vehicle and trailer

Electronics and Connections

It’s essential that the trailer lights and electronics are working properly. Take a few moments at the start of every trip to ensure your turn signals and running lights are operating.
  • Check condition of wiring for corrosion, cuts, etc.
  • Check that grounding circuit is properly attached
  • Check wire harness and tow vehicle socket
  • Check that the electrical plug is secure and firmly in the vehicle’s socket
  • Check turn signals on vehicle and trailer
  • Check that the breakaway switch cable is securely attached to vehicle
  • Check that break control is working and adjusted to the trailer’s weight

To make sure your trailer is in top-notch condition, always take the time to give your trailer a thorough check. This is particularly important at the beginning, middle and end of the season, or after a long trip. Lastly, always raise your boat engine and ensure all your onboard gear is secure before you drive away. Doing this basic check will give you the peace of mind to tow and launch your boat with confidence.

At Van Isle Marina, we provide completely secure moorage with annual, monthly and guest options. Conveniently located in sunny Sidney, BC, we’re just a quick cruise away from a variety of fantastic destinations. With amenities like storage lockers, car parking, and a full-service marine fueling station and dock store, you’ll find everything you’ll need to start and end your trip. Come down and see us, or request services/moorage information at (250) 656-1138 or by email.

De-Winterizing Your Boat

De-Winterizing Your Boat Checklist

Spring Maintenance Checklist for Your Boat

 

Spring is here and you’re more than ready to get back out on the water. There are a few key things you’re going to need to take care of first though, to make sure that your boat is ready for the inaugural trip. Not only will properly de-winterizing your boat ensure that everything’s in good working order, it will help extend the life of the boat.

If your boat has been in dry storage for the winter, it’s a good idea to check your trailer first. This 10-minute check will let you move your boat back to the water with confidence. Most importantly, check the renewal date for your boating and fishing / crabbing licenses and make sure any required decals are easily visible.

Trailer

To safely transport your boat back to the water, the trailer and tires need to be road-ready.

  • Check trailer tires for pressure, any cracking, or inadequate tread. Replace tires if they’re older than 3-5 years.
  • Check tongue latch and coupling
  • Check trailer brake fluid level
  • Check trailer lights and replace as needed
  • Test the rollers
  • Check the padding where the hull rests

Anchors, Lines and Ropes

All mooring and anchoring equipment should be clean and ready to go. It’s always a good idea to purchase new line before the start of the season.

  • Spring Boating Checklist - RopeCheck that you have enough rope to launch and tie your boat
  • Check that you have enough rope to secure your boat in at least two areas
  • Check all knots for anchors and hardware
  • Check for any damaged or tangled line or rope
  • Make sure any bumpers are in the boat

Belts, Cables and Hoses

Check for wear and tear and consult a boat mechanic if you have any concerns.

  • Check for cracks and brittle areas
  • Check for wear on belts
  • Check the outer layer of control cables. Any cracking or swelling can be signs of a problem

Electrical

As boaters, we rely heavily on electrical equipment for a safe and comfortable experience. Go through each of the electrical components on your boat to make sure everything’s in good working order.

  • Check all connections for corrosion and cleanliness
  • Remove battery terminals, clean connections with wire brushDe-Winterization of your Boat Checklist - Helm
  • Check the battery is charged. Replace if needed
  • Test the generator on full tilt
  • Check interior and exterior lights
  • Check navigational equipment (GPS)
  • Check electrical box
  • Check HVAC or air conditioner on hot and cold

Engine and Fuel System

The heart of your boat, you won’t get very far without the engine! We recommend a regular inspection by a trained boat technician, ideally at the start and end of the boating season.

  • Check transom mounts (outboard)
  • Check for any smoke
  • Check transmission
  • Check levers on every seacock
  • Check raw water intake and strainer
  • Inspect connections, hoses and tanks for damage or leaks
  • Replace spark plugs and other components as needed
  • Check that all clamps and fittings are tight
  • Check that exhaust, engine and ventilation systems are working well

Fluid Levels

Topped-up fluids will keep your engine and steering column going strong. Replace any expired fluids and top up everything else as needed.

  • Check coolant
  • Check engine oil
  • Check power steering fluid
  • Check power trim reservoirs
  • Check coolant levels
  • Change engine oil, filter and drive lubricants as needed

Hull and Exterior

The key to prolonging the life of your boat, the hull should be kept clean and waxed, with any damage taken care of right away.Spring Checklist for your boat - Hull

  • Check hull for blisters, distortions and cracks
  • Clean the hull, deck and topsides
  • Check that the drain plug is secure *Put a backup drain plug somewhere safe on board
  • Check for cracks or damage around fittings
  • Check for damage on or around the hatches
  • Check upholstery for any mold / mildew / tears
  • Check the livewells

Interior

The living space and head are a cozy place to crash at the end of a busy day of fishing and water sports. Take a few minutes to check lighting, appliances and water, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

  • Check for water pressure and quality
  • Check for damage to doors and portholes
  • Check lights and switchesboat spring checklist - interior
  • Check for leaks in fridge
  • Check temperature in fridge / freezer
  • Test the appliances
  • Check lights and switches
  • Check TV, speakers and any other extras

Propeller

A damaged propeller can’t work as efficiently as an undamaged one. If you see any marks or chips / dings that are concerning, talk to a pro about repair or replacement.

  • Check propellers for any damage
  • Make sure propeller is secure and replace bearings if needed

Safety Equipment and Gear

Up-to-date safety equipment is a huge part of any vessel. We recommend booking a safety inspection by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP) if available.

  • Check the flares
  • Check marine radio
  • Check condition of heaving line and lifebuoy(s)
  • Check condition of first aid kit
  • Check life jackets and replace any expired jackets
  • Check the fire extinguishers. Replace if expired
  • Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Replace batteries

Water System

For washing up and drinking, clean water is essential.

  • If you added antifreeze, flush it out now
  • Empty the grey and black tanks
  • Refill the fresh-water tank

Clean the Boat

Give your boat a good spring clean to get it off to the best possible start this season.De-winterizing your boat checklist - Cleaning

  • Clean the hull, scrubbing away any rusty spots or fuel drips
  • Scrub any areas where mold may have started over the winter
  • Clean the carpets and vacuum any debris
  • Wash the windows
  • Disinfect hard and soft surfaces using a gentle spray solution
  • Spray a fabric protector on any vinyl to block harsh UV light

At Van Isle Marina, we offer moorage with annual, monthly and guest options. Conveniently located in sunny Sidney, BC on the Haro Strait, we’re just a quick cruise away from a variety of fantastic destinations. With amenities like storage lockers, car parking, and a full-service marine fueling station and dock store, you’ll find everything you could need to start and end your trip. Are you as excited for the summer boating season as we are? Come down and see us, or request services/moorage information by calling (250) 656-1138 or via email.

USED BOAT BUYING CHECKLIST

Used Boat Buying Checklist

Looking for a Pre-Owned Boat?
Give it a Thorough Inspection Before You Buy

 

Purchasing a used boat can save you lots of money, when done right. A lightly used boat that’s been treated with kid gloves can be an absolute steal and provide you and your family with many happy years on the water. If the seller is upgrading, they might even throw in PFD’s, seat cushions, the cover and fishing / watersports equipment. Buying a used boat is also an excellent way to get your sea legs established without the sticker price of a brand-new vessel.

When shopping around for a used boat, there are many things to take into consideration. It can be intimidating, particularly if you’re brand new to boating. First, consider what type of powerboat you envision yourself in. Are you most excited for watersports, or relaxed weekends cruising the coast? Do you want to entertain friends and family or enjoy secluded getaways? Will you keep it moored or haul-out at the end of every season? To keep you focused on your search, decide early on what type and size of boat works with your lifestyle.

Once you’ve found a few boats you’d like to take a closer look at, or what you suspect is “the one”, take out our used boat buying checklist and start checking off the boxes. Together, we’ll make sure you’re completely confident about your new-to-you boat!

Brand

Go for a well-known brand but avoid models that seem to be prominent on the used sales scene. This could indicate an issue with the model that you don’t want to inherit.

boat buying checklist - check interior / exterior

  • Does the brand have a good reputation?
  • Does the model have a good reputation?
  • Check reviews
  • Ask other owners for their feedback

 

History

Knowing the history of the individual boat is helpful in knowing where any dings or scrapes / larger issues may have come from

  • Any recalls?
  • Any known issues?
  • Has the boat been in any accidents?

Engine

The engine can be one of the most expensive parts of a boat, so take your time and really make sure it’s in good working order. A test drive will really give you a sense of how the boat handles.

  • Inboard or outboard motor
  • How many motors
  • Check engine hatch for breathability
  • Motor starts smoothly
  • Check engine insulation
  • Check for any leaks
  • Check age of engines
  • Look for any smoke
  • Check transmission
  • Check levers on every seacock
  • Check raw water intake and strainer

 

Electrical

All electronics should be in good condition and working well. If there’s a short or any indication of issues with the electronics, the electrical should be thoroughly inspected

  • Review owner’s manual
  • Check battery for damage or corrosion
  • Check interior and exterior lights
  • Check navigational equipment (GPS)
  • Check electrical box
  • Check HVAC or Air Conditioner for effective cooling and heating
  • Check appliances
  • Check all wiring and connections
  • Check for corrosion or signs of damage
  • Test the generator on full tilt for 30 minutes
  • Do a final test of all electronics on board

 

Exterior Condition

Beyond the aesthetics of the boat, the exterior condition can tell you a lot about how well this boat has been treated and the potential for bigger problems down the line. Check the boat over with the hull lifted out of the water so you can see below the waterline.

  • Check the fibreglass/laminate for any hollow sounds when tapped
  • Check for scratches and cracks
  • Check for cracks or damage around fittings
  • Check for any damage on and around hatches
  • Check condition of handrails
  • Check to make sure cleats are secure and in good shape
  • Check for any rust
  • Check the condition of the deck
  • Check the condition of the hull
  • Look for bubbling in the paint
  • Check the condition of the zinc anodes
  • Check the bearings of the rudder
  • Check the overall rudder
  • Check seating and upholstery for any mold / mildew / tears
  • Check the helm for any damages
  • Check the steering wheel

 

Interior Condition

The interior of the boat will be your home away from home, so you’ll want to make sure it’s comfortable and in good shape. You’ll also want to make sure it’s free of any issues with plumbing and electricity.

  • Check the condition of lockers
  • Check the condition of trims, stairs, flooring
  • Check for damage to doors and portholes
  • Check lights and switches
  • Check TV, speakers and any other extras
  • Check toilet, sink and shower for water pressure and quality
  • Check appliances for interior or exterior damage
  • Check to ensure that appliances are bolted and mounted
  • Check for leaks in fridge
  • Check temperature in fridge / freezer
  • Test all appliances to make sure they work

 

Safety Equipment

The bilge pump, fire extinguisher, anchor and chains should all be in good working order.  Even if you plan on replacing most of the safety supplies, it’s a good idea to look through the existing ones to get a feel for how the current owners have cared for the boat and its components.

  • Check expiration date of fire extinguisherboat buying checklist - check marine radio
  • Check bilge pump
  • Check condition of life jackets and any expiry dates
  • Check oars and any other manual propulsion tools
  • Check the flares
  • Check to see if the marine radio is working
  • Check condition of heaving line and lifebuoy(s)
  • Check condition of first aid kit

 

Owner’s Manual and Legal Documents

Look through the owner’s manual and legal documents so you have the exact specs and features list with you. You can either print it off yourself or ask the current owner to provide one.

  • Check the bill of sale or sales documentation
  • Check insurance papers
  • Check for any outstanding money owed
  • Check that the engine hours and KM match what’s on the sales contract
  • Check for any warranty information

 

During the sale of a boat, once a price has been agreed upon by the buyer and seller, the boat will then have a marine survey and mechanical inspection performed as part of the condition of the sale. This means that many of the buying a used boat checklist items above will be checked off by a professional and you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality yacht. The cost for these inspections, however, are paid for by the buyer.

Once you’re sure you’re found the boat for you, be sure to review our post on the ins and outs of buying a used yacht. This will cover everything from the sales process to the storage of your new vessel, for a worry-free purchase experience.

Is this the year you’re making the leap to boating? Looking for that perfect used boat? Come and talk to us at Van Isle Marina. We have a fantastic selection of new and pre-loved yachts and cruisers to choose from, as well as a wide variety of new world-class Pursuit Boats. Browse our new and used listings, then contact our expert yacht broker, to find the boat you’ve always dreamed of.

Boat Maintenance Checklist PDF

Boat Maintenance Checklist

Use this Handy Checklist for Boats / Yachts Before Getting Back on the Water

Boat maintenance is a key part of keeping your boat cruising smoothly for optimal enjoyment, safety and resale value. At Van Isle Marina, we know there’s a lot to think about when it comes to maintaining your boat. This is why we’ve created this handy cheat sheet for the care and keeping of your boat.boat maintenance checklist PDF cover image

It’s a good idea to go through this boat maintenance checklist at the end of the season. This will give you plenty of time to schedule the required boat repairs and maintenance during the low season.

Completing all the maintenance needed for your vessel will make it easy to be out on the water as soon as the cruising season begins.

Boat Mechanics

To ensure a smooth trip, take the time to inspect the engine and all its parts. Replace items as needed to ensure your boat is in good working order.

  • Check the engine and operating temperatureboat maintenance checklist - check propellers
  • Check propeller for any damage
  • Test steering for any leaks
  • Check transom mount (if using an outboard)
  • Check fuel lines for weak points or leaks
  • Do an oil change
  • Check spark plugs
  • Check fluid levels
  • Check gearcase for water
  • Check belts, cables and hoses
  • Lubricate fittings (where required)

Boat’s Electrical Systems

Because your boat experiences a lot of vibration and hull flex, it’s important to properly troubleshoot and maintain electrical components.

  • Check battery charge level
  • Check battery connections and cables
  • Look for any acid leaks around terminals and clean as needed
  • Replace battery if needed
  • Check and/or replace interior and exterior lighting and wiring

Hull of the Boat

As the watertight part of the boat, the hull maintains the structural integrity of the boat, protecting the cabin, cargo, engines and all other components.boat maintenance checklist - waxing the hull

  • Check for any signs of leaks
  • Check for cracks or stressed areas
  • Check thru-hulls for rust
  • Check stringers
  • Wash with a pH balanced soap
  • Wax or paint hull

Boat’s Electronics

Not to be confused with electrical systems, the onboard electronics of the boat let you navigate and communicate effectively.

  • Check wiring for any corrosion
  • Check voltage levels
  • Update firmware to latest version

Boat’s HVAC System

Ready access to water as well as reliable heating and air conditioning are essential to an enjoyable trip out on your boat.

  • Check and refill water tank
  • Check the drain for clogs
  • Check for condensate in pan under evaporator
  • Clean air filters and raw water strainer
  • Reverse cycle the system to make sure heating is available
  • Check the water pump impeller and condenser coil for any build-up

Upholstery and Canvas on Board

Seasonal maintenance is needed to preserve and extend the life of the on-board upholstery and covers.boat maintenance checklist - clean the upholstery

  • Check for mould and mildew – clean as needed with vinegar solution
  • Remove and wash canvas
  • Check for waterproofing – reapply waterproofing spray if needed

Safety Equipment on Board your Boat

Ensure your safety equipment is in good working condition and within the expiry date. Replace anything that has expired or is in poor condition.

  • Check flare(s)
  • Check fire extinguisher
  • Inspect lifejackets for tears or missing parts
  • Inspect and restock first aid kit
  • Check flashlight and batteries
  • Check and refill spare gas can
  • Check EPIRB (Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon)
  • Check tender for damage
  • Check paddles and outboard motor on tender

Click here to download our boat maintenance checklist as a PDF.

Getting ready to get back out on the water this spring? Come and see us first. At Van Isle Marina, we’re a one-stop shop for all your cruising needs, from oils and additives to charts and tackle. We offer a great marine fuel discount program for recreational and commercial vessels. Enjoy full-service assistance with dock lines and fueling from our marine gas station team. We’re open 8 :00 AM – 4:00 PM daily (winter) and 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM daily (summer) and we look forward to seeing you in beautiful Sidney, BC. Contact us anytime for a service request for moorage, haul out, dry land storage and more.