Experienced boater or not, your boat needs a safety check. This is actually one of the easier parts in our list. Also known as a Vessel Safety Check, the United States Coast Guards recommend all vessels receive a check up. Think of it like going to the doctor, but without a long wait. This check can be performed in your driveway, on the ramp, on a slip by a certified vessel examiner. The examiner will visit your vessel at a mutually convenient time, take up to 45 minutes, and then you either get annual decal or a report (but you are NOT getting reported) telling you how to rectify any issues you have.
Why on earth should I go through all this? For one, a piece of mind that your boat is in optimal operational capabilities as per a certified vessel examiner has declared. Additionally, you avoid fees and fines if found in violation by law enforcement. That in itself is enough of a reason for me! The last thing, you may find your insurance rates lowered. Contact your marine insurance provider to know for sure.
It is up to you to keep our waters safe and our people safer. If everyone takes a little extra time to maintain their boat properly and to follow regulations stipulated by the USCG, you will begin to find that fatality rates and statistics will begin to fall.