One of the take-aways from the ACBS Symposium delivered at the Sunnyland Boat Festival on March 23, 2018 was a laminated

This list was first compiled by Lou Rauh and is now shared by Brian Keen, President of Motor Boat Garage in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

CHECK LIST FOR FIRST TIME OPERATION     Click here if you wish to download a printable copy.

  1. Take a “buddy” with you
  2. Go to launch area, but away from the ramp
  4. Attach mooring lines and lead them to the side of the boat where dock will be once boat is launched.
  5. Attach fenders to same side of boat where dock will be
  6. Check to be sure you have all safety equipment (maybe before you leave home)
    1. Life jackets for each person – include potential passengers
    2. Anchor and anchor line
    3. Paddle and throw cushion
    4. Fire extinguisher and distress flag
    5. Whistle/horn and first aid kit
  7. Check to be sure that fresh water sea cock is open
  8. If boat has battery switch, be sure it is turned on
  9. Check engine oil level
  10. Check fuel level
  11. Remove all tie down straps except one on the bow eye
  12. Proceed to launch ramp, back up to just short of the water
  13. Remove line from trailer to bow eye
  14. Have “buddy” pick up dock lines and walk on dock as you back up trailer
  15. Back up trailer so that boat/trailer are parallel to dock about one yard away from dock
  16. As boat floats off of trailer, “buddy” pulls it back and free of trailer, then brings it in to dock
  17. Pull tow vehicle and trailer slowly out of water and to proper parking spot
  18. Join “buddy” at the dock and snugly tie boat to dock preventing it from moving forward
  19. If equipped, turn on bilge blower
  20. If no bilge blower, lift engine box/hatch to smell for gas fumes
  21. If no gas fumes, put gear shift in neutral
  22. If boat is equipped with manual choke, pull it out completely
  23. Crack open the throttle about ¼”
  24. Press starter, as soon as engine starts, depress choke
  25. Go to back of boat to observe that there is water being expelled from exhaust pipe. Do not proceed if there is no discharge
  26. Back in driver seat; observe that you have oil pressure. Do not proceed if you do not have oil pressure
  27. If boat is creeping forward on the mooring line, touch the shifter with a little reverse
  28. Have your “buddy” release lines and place in the boat. He/she should board boat as you back out
  29. “Buddy” should secure lines so they are accessible, but won’t accidentally go into the water
  30. As you clear the dock, have “Buddy” remove the fenders, then sit down
  31. Most straight inboards back to the left. Use this trait to help you turn – back to the left and forward to the right
  32. As you move out of the “no wake” zone, begin to apply throttle, slowly increasing rpm to 2-2.5K
  33. Observe oil pressure, amp, and temp gauges
  34. Lift floor board or engine hatch to see if you are taking on water
  35. Have FUN and be SAFE

    What information would you like to share with the vintage boat community?


1 Comment

  1. For those of us who have forgotten a step or two on your list from time to time, having it printed and in hand at every launch would be the act of a wise boater.

    Thanks for sharing.

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