Boat Briefing Checklist

What we think you need to know when coming aboard our boat. Leslie did a nice post about what to expect, but this is the checklist Leslie and I try to run through when anyone is coming aboard for longer than just a visit. Any suggestions on things we’ve missed?

Up on deck

  • Basics: getting on and off the boat safely
  • Moving around: what you can walk on, hold onto — 3 points of contact
  • Deck hazards: shoe policy, hatches, boom and any other hazard area
  • Lines and winches: basic use and hazards to be aware of; do no wrap line; winch handles
  • Lockers: where they are and the contents (Fender storage, cleaning supplies, safety equipment location, and gas)
  • Tender: how it’s used
  • Engine: turning it on/off and how to operate. Emergency turn-off
  • Instruments and GPS: quick overview
  • Teamwork: report any injuries, breakages, concerns or illnesses immediately
  • Sun protection: hats, sunscreen
  • Hydration policy: everyone must be seen to be drinking water throughout the day
  • Sea sickness: symptoms, ways to avoid it, what to do if you get it
  • Jewelry

Emergency equipment

  • Man Over Board (MOB): purpose of equipment, MOB procedure and MOB buttons, point at MOB
  • VHF Radio: show how to turn on and follow instructions for MAYDAY call
  • Flares: location, use and precautions

Below decks

  • Moving around: hand holds, slipping and companionway steps
  • Hatches, locks and exits; dangers and making sure they’re closed at sea
  • Lifejackets and harnesses: distribute, adjust and discuss when and where to wear
  • First Aid Kits: locations, equipment, logbooks.
  • Flashlights and search lights: locations
  • Circuit board: overview of switches, how the electricity works, navigation lights
  • Fire extinguishers: location and how they work
  • Heads: how to use.
  • Sinks/showers: how to use and how to clean up afterwards
  • Water: Explain water is in short supply!
  • Galley: location of everything, dangers (gas, slamming doors, burns) and how each appliance operates.
  • Propane solenoid
  • Cleanliness: everything needs to be put back from where it came from
  • Garbage: general waste policies