You’re the Skipper. You are responsible.

You’re the Skipper You are responsible.

Whether a commercial or domestic vessel, when you are the Skipper/Master, you are responsible.

Skippers are responsible for:

  1. The Safety of their Vessel
  2. All those on board
  3. Other water users operating nearby

Skippers have direct control over the major factors which contribute to incidents on the water, and must do their part to reduce incidents and deaths by:

  • Taking control.
  • Always observing the regulations.
  • Meeting the safety requirements for their vessel.

Skipper responsibilities checklist

  • Check the weather and tides. If in doubt about any of the conditions, don’t go.
  • Tell someone where you plan to go and when you intend to return. If your plans change, let them know.
  • Make sure your boat is suitable and capable of making the trip.
  • Carry all necessary supplies such as fuel, food and water in case of an emergency.
  • Study a chart or local boating guide of the waters you intend cruising.
  • Are you familiar with the many dangers on the water?
  • Check for rocks or submerged obstructions and various speed limits and local laws.
  • Ensure that all safety equipment is operational and in easy reach.
  • Let everyone know what safety equipment is carried, where it is stored and how it works.
  • Check, and double check, that your craft is not overloaded.
  • Check that your marine radio works.
  • Maintain boat stability by centrally loading your boat.
  • Make sure you and your crew can handle the boat properly.
  • Be sure lifejackets fit all passengers properly and are in easy reach, in bad weather, when boating alone, if you are a weak swimmer or when you are not comfortable they should be worn at all times.
  • Consider the needs of all of your passengers. Do they have any special medical problems? Are they prone to sea sickness?
  • You can delegate various jobs to people on board, this adds to the fun of a voyage as well as giving every person a sense of responsibility.
  • A final check of basic mechanics. Has there been regular maintenance, particularly on the steering gear?

Shorlink’s Recommendation

It’s very simply recommendation this week.

Know your responsibilities, respect them.

Every Skipper in the marine industry should adhere to not only the AMSA and Department of Transport regulations, but your own/companies as well.  Please ensure all staff are aware of these.

Make sure yourself and your crew understand your responsibility as the Skipper and always adhere to your commands.  These commands are to protect and ensure your responsibility is met at all times.


Either download, print, laminate and display the Skipper Responsibility Checklist on your vessel.

Or email us today for a copy.