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You decide to take the family for a day on the water. A little fishing, a picnic and some quality time with the kids. What is your responsibility as a boat owner preparing for this event? Make sure you have enough sandwiches, munchies and beverages for all for the day. Always have a fire extinguisher aboard despite the size of the boat. Have a full tank of gas when going out for the day and whether you have a portable or installed gas tank, carry extra fuel. It is a long walk home. Use fuel management on the water. Figure you'll need 1/3 of the fuel to get where you are going, 1/3 to return to the launch and 1/3 of your fuel in reserve.

Always have a proper fitting life jacket for everyone on board and wear them when the gasoline engine is running. If you are on big water stay away from large ships as they may need up to one mile to stop. Carry extra spark plugs and the tools to change them on the water. Make sure your battery is fully charged. Carry a safety throw cushion with a rope attached in case someone goes over board. Carry an anchor with plenty of good line can keep you from drifting aimlessly if you motor stops. It is your boat's life line. Do these small chores and you will have a day to remember and a positive entry in your family journal.