Gary Finch Outdoors: Memorial Day boating checklist

Local News

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Memorial Day is one of the biggest boating weekends of the year, but it can quickly go wrong if your boat is not in proper working order.  Nate Haddock of Gulf Coast Marine gave us his boating safety checklist.  

You want to check all your switches to make sure your lights are working, your bilge pump’s working, so do a complete check of all your switches, all your electronics and make sure everything is working. We are going to check all of these gauges, make sure every gauge works, check his gas gauge.  We are going to check his shift and throttle make sure the cables are working, nice and greased and lubed up, ready to go. We will check his steering.  Boats that have been sitting for a while, the steering’s going to freeze up.  

When you are doing the systems check on the boat, some things you want to check for your fire extinguisher.  Pull it out.  Check it.  It’s got a gauge on it.  It will say full, empty, discard or replace.  This one says full, so we are okay with this fire extinguisher.  

The other things you want to check out are your flares.  Make sure they are good and in date.  You want to have those on board.  You want to have some type of signal or sound device, whether it be a horn, air horn or whistle.  Have that on there.  Check to make sure it’s good and works.   

The other thing is you want to have a throwable cushion.  You want to make sure you have life jackets for every person on board, whether it be the orange, slip over your head type or ski vest, you have to have a life jacket for every person on board.   But you want to make sure you have good operating systems when you get out on the water.    

Remember folks, it comes down to just using good commons sense.  Have a happy and safe weekend.   


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