1) Get out early and find a spot.
Plan as best you can on staying there until the next day after the big fireworks show. If you are on a small vessel and can't overnight then be patient and let the crowds that are in such a hurry rush back to their marinas. The accidents right after the fireworks conclude are so very avoidable. You smaller ski and wake boats, watch out for large boats and their wakes. We see many unnecessarily swamped vessels rolled over and all the occupants left treading water.
2) Make sure of your ground tackle.
You need to be familiar with its use and it should be readily available to deploy. We recommend a lb of anchor per foot of boat and at least a foot of chain per foot of boat. Have enough overall length to anchor in the areas you will be enjoying your boat.
3) Communications! Perhaps I should move this up the list.
A VHF radio is highly recommended. Even a small portable handheld works. With this aboard many private boats and 1st responders can hear your call for assistance. For your cell phones, bring charging capabilities and a backup. Both a 12v outlet plug type charger as well as a portable battery pack. As it relates to the phones, make sure you know how to aquire your latitude and longitude from your mobile device. The BoatUS App (link) is one handy way of having that information readily available. This is especially important for smaller boats with no fix mounted chart plotter/GPS system.
4) Navigation lights.
Make sure they all are working properly. Have spare bulbs and tools to swap in case of bulb failure.
5) Of course you should have proper towing insurance of what ever type is relevant to your area.
In the San Francisco Bay and Delta waters, and nearly all of California, TowBoatUS is the only company you can reliably get to respond 24 hours a day. Make sure you have an unlimited membership.
Call us nationally at 800-391-4869 or locally at 877-4BAYTOW or 877-422-9869 or
(website not suitable for dispatching services)
Captain Philip Delano
SF Bay & Delta
Yachting Specialties, Inc.
A BoatUS Service Provider
925-382-4422 24 hr cell
925-684-2183 local office
800-391-4869 National Dispatch