Are you, your passengers, and your vessel in safe condition?Recreational boating should be a pleasurable experience and after more than forty yearsof power boating and sailing experience I can note “from my own observations” a few practices that should be avoided and a just a few rules that should be observed.The list follows:1. Keep your vessel in SEAWORTHY CONDITION. Pay particular attention to equipment and components that can cause fire or sinking.2. Be aware of your vessel’s LIMITATIONS and your LIMITATIONS.2. Have LOCAL KNOWLEDGE of the area you plan to navigate.3. Ensure that a CONTINGENCY PLAN is posted. Most emergency situations come as a complete surprise.4. File a FLIGHT PLAN before departure, just prior to checking the WEATHER FORECAST.5. Be aware of LOCAL and COAST GUARD rules governing the use of DRUGS and ALCOHOL while operating a vessel.