inflatable boat checklist

Inflatable Boat Checklist

Whether you are at work or play in your Takacat inflatable boat, the best way to make the most of your excursion is to properly prepare your boat for the trip and bring along all the right gear. To help you, we prepared a quick inflatable boat checklist. If you have any further questions about boating, feel free to browse our blog or contact us. We are here to help!

Pre-Trip Inspection

A quick and easy pre-trip inspection could prevent you from running into any problems while on the water. The type of Takacat you purchase will determine what kind of inflatable boat inspection you make. Generally speaking, follow these steps:

  • Perform a full inspection of the boat and engine.
  • De-energize, unplug, and store any power cords.
  • Turn the battery switches and circuit breakers to the ON position.
  • Inflate the tube set as required.
  • Fully inflate your boat to make sure it holds air
  • Manually engage the bilge pump and check for any air leaks.

Since you’ll be on the water, you will want to ensure the electrical parts are in good working condition and all wiring is fully insulated. Check any of the following applicable electrical components, including

  • Navigation, search, side takedown, rear scene, and deck lights
  • VHF radio
  • Tactical radio
  • Chart plotter and FLIR camera
  • Radar and depth sounder
  • Horn, siren, and loud hailer

Make a Float Plan

If you're unfamiliar, a float plan is basically documenting where you are going, what route you'll be taking, how long you plan to be gone for, and most importantly, telling someone your float plan.

Having someone know where you plan to boat is essential for safety. In the case you were to get lost, injured, or in a dangerous situation, your float plan will give anyone you share it with the information they need to help you out or to alert authorities to send a boat out to rescue you.

Some additional items your float plan can include are:

  • A description of your vessel
  • Number of people going
  • Contact information
  • When you plan to leave and return
  • Your destination
  • Your route

The great thing about float plans is that they do not need to be formal. You can write out a note and leave it with a loved one or friend or with someone at a marina or dock that knows you.

Power-Up Inspection

Now that you’ve completed a pre-inspection with your Takacat inflatable boat, it’s time to perform a power-up inspection. Keep in mind that this type of inspection is only applicable to motorized inflatable boats. Include the following items in your inspection:

  • Lower the engine, turn on the ignition, and listen to the fuel pump
  • Check your oil and fuel levels - add oil as needed

Next, put the boat engine in neutral, start it, and check the following items.

  • Cooling water overboard discharge
  • Oil pressure
  • Voltage output
  • Any active engine alarms

Last, let the engine warm-up and then check the following items:

  • Test the KILL SWITCH, then restart the engine
  • Check the steering to make sure that it operates freely

Inflatable Boat Equipment and Gear

Now that your boat is ready for the water, you need to pack the necessary equipment and gear for your trip. Fortunately, your Takacat inflatable boat already comes with some core equipment, such as

  • 1 set of tubes
  • 1 tube transom® assembly
  • 1 inflatable seat
  • 1 manual pump & gauge
  • 1 repair kit
  • 2 oars
  • 2 carry bags

However, you may want to consider carrying additional equipment with you to ensure that you have everything you need on your trip. When it comes to equipment and gear, there are three main categories you need to think about: safety, boat gear, and personal gear.

Safety Equipment

When it comes to any type of inflatable boat safety equipment, remember the main rule: All safety equipment must be United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved and meet minimum Federal standards for safety and construction. 

We recommend that you load your Takacat with the following safety equipment:

Cell phone Food
Compass GPS
Distress signals Life jackets
Drinking water Nautical charts
First aid kit

You should carry and wear a life jacket at all times regardless of how good a swimmer you are. Even the most skilled swimmers cannot overcome severe weather conditions. Distress signals can include blinking lights, flares, or sirens. 

If your cell phone is not waterproof, put it in a durable waterproof container. Make sure you have enough food and water in case you get stranded. Last, bring a compass and nautical charts. You never know if your GPS unit will break down.

Boat Gear:

When packing all your gear, something to remember is that your boat may only have so much room for your stuff. Each passenger that you add to the boat leaves even less room. So, you will need to buy more compact and easy-to-store items. 

Also, get creative with finding containers and bags that can help you organize and label your gear so that it is easy to find. When launching your Tacakat on a trip, we recommend taking the following boat gear:

Air pump Oars
Anchor and anchor line PVC repair kit
Duct tape Seats
Electric pump adapter Tear aid patch kit
Knife Tool kit
Manual bilge pump

If you can’t fit all your gear on the boat, you may need to prioritize your items. For instance, fixing an air chamber may be the most important thing. After all, if you get out in the water and start losing air, everything else becomes secondary to fixing your boat quickly. So, make sure you prioritize any repair equipment and tools.

Personal Gear

Safety gear and boat gear give you a worry-free ride on your Takacat. In addition, if you want your cruise to be more enjoyable and relaxing, we recommend packing some personal gear. Some common items include

Camera Sunglasses
Fishing hat Sunscreen
Fishing license Rain gear
Operator’s license Win card

If you plan to go fishing, you will need your license with you at all times. If you do not present it upon request, you could face stiff fines or license suspension, depending on state laws. The same goes with your boat operating license. Some states require an operating license to take an inflatable boat on the water. Protect your license by laminating it or putting it in a waterproof bag or container.

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