The key to staying healthy on the water is being prepared. One of the best ways to be prepared on the water is to file a ‘float plan’ before you ever leave the dock. A float plan should include a description of your boat and your boat’s registration number and fuel capacity. It should also include the names of all the persons aboard and any medical conditions they may have. You’ll also need to include a timetable of your trip, including departure and arrival times. The coast guard also recommends that you include survival equipment on your boat. Most important are personal flotation devices, which you should wear all the time. You’ll also want to include a first aid kit, a tool kit, additional food and water, extra batteries, a V-H-F radio, visual distress signals, binoculars, flares, flashlights, spare fuel, a pump or a bailer, and paddles. The u.s. coast guard highly recommends that every boater take a boating safety course and a basic eight-hour Red Cross first aid course.