Dory safety checklist

Before you use a dory, perform a few checks to ensure your safety out on the water.
28 November 2019

Read your Safety Management System

  1. Prepare your vessel
    • Have a maintenance plan
    • Is the tender in good condition?
    • Does it need any repairs?
  2. Before you go
    • TELL SOMEONE where you are going and when you will return
    • Check weather forecast
    • Bilges are clean and dry
    • Is everything secure?
    • Do you have enough food and water?
    • Do you have sufficient fuel for the trip?
    • Are all batteries charged?
  3. Check your safety equipment:
    • Lifejacket
    • Bailing system including bilge pump
    • Communication equipment (VHF, satellite phone etc.)
    • EPIRB or PLB
    • Flares – red distress and orange smoke
    • Anchor and enough rope/chain
    • GPS/compass
    • Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder
    • Secondary means of propulsion
    • Waterproof torch
    • First aid kit
    • Appropriate clothing and PPE (hat, sunglasses, gloves, sunscreen etc.)
  4. When at sea:
    • Wear your lifejacket
    • Keep a good lookout
    • Check your weight. What is the maximum loading of the dory?
    • Know the radio channel you are working on
    • Know where you are at all times
    • Check for navigational hazards
    • Monitor fuel use


Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Last updated: 3 September 2020