Have fun out there in the ocean, but be safe! source: travelismo.com
Heading offshore can be a very rewarding experience. Plowing through the blue waves and reeling in a thirty pound prize can make for a fantastic day. However, it can also be quite dangerous if you are not prepared. So in order to prevent your dream day from turning into a nightmare, here is a checklist to make sure you bring everything you will need on the trip. It is divided into two categories: essential items and highly recommended supplies.
1) Life jackets for everyone on board: check out www.examiner.com/x-21364-Jacksonville-Boating-Examiner~y2009m9d1-Life-jackets-What-you-know-can-save-a-life for help on choosing the correct ones.
2) Signal flares, a signal mirror, and a storm whistle
3) A VHF radio
4) Navigational tools: usually an offshore GPS, or a compass and charts
5) Weather gear: sunscreen, foul weather clothing, etc
6) Boating and saltwater fishing licenses, and the boat registration
7) The boat plug: you would be surprised how many people forget this vital piece of equipment
Highly Recommended Supplies
1) A few extra drums of gasoline
2) High energy food snacks: I would recommend Cliff bars or crackers with peanut butter
3) A tow rope: for you or to help someone else
4) A solid sheath knife