Propel On! 7 Boating Safety Tips for the Avid Adventurer
The weather is beautiful, and you’re ready to lather on the sunblock and put on your swimsuits. Put a full tank of fuel in the boat and get ready to hit the water, it’s time for a boating adventure.
Owning a boat or having access to one is a luxury that not many people get to experience. There are plenty of benefits to owning a boat, and you’ll want to take advantage of these as often as possible. One thing you must keep in mind, however, is boating safety.
There are a few boating safety tips that you can follow to ensure you have a safe and fun boating experience. Continue reading below for everything you need to know about having an amazing boating trip with safety in mind.
1. Have Enough Life Vests For Everyone
An even safer approach is to make each person on the boat wear their life vest as well. It’s a simple safety precaution that could be a lifesaver. As long as the boat is in motion, have everyone wear their vests.
When you reach your destination and the anchor is dropped, you can then allow everyone to remove their vests.
2. Be Aware of All Boating Laws in the Area
Boating laws differ from place to place. Depending on what state, county, or type of water you’re in, there will be different rules to follow. Before you head out on the water, be sure to have a full understanding of the boating laws for the location you’ll be boating in.
Know what the speed limits are and what all the different signs mean. Boating is similar to driving a car in the sense that you need to know the laws of the road just like you need to know the laws of the water.
If you’re not sure what a certain sign means, this could land you in a dangerous situation. Know the signs and obey them.
3. Bring Safety Equipment and First Aid
Your boat should have the proper safety equipment on board at all times. This also includes all of your first aid kit supplies in case of any accidents or injuries. Some typical safety equipment aside from your life vests includes a flare, a whistle, a bucket, a flashlight, duct tape, ropes, fire extinguisher, and garbage bags.
Most of these items speak for themselves, but you may feel confused about others. Trust us when we say you’ll want all of these items with you. The whistle and flare are good for signaling for help. The rope comes in handy if you need another boat to give you a tow.
Duct tape will temporarily seal small leaks and a garbage bag will keep your essentials dry if needed.
4. Check the Local Weather Ahead of Time
Taking the boat out during a storm is dangerous and should be avoided. You can’t always predict the weather, but it’s a good idea to check with local weather broadcasting stations before heading out.
See what the news predicts for the weather that day. If it’s not a good day to go boating, then don’t risk it. Aside from that, you should always have a plan in place in case you are caught in bad weather.
Check with the radar frequently while on the boat and bring it in quickly if you see a storm coming.
5. Never Drink and Operate a Boat
Many people party on a boat, and we’re not telling you that you can’t. What we do want to emphasize, however, is to not drink and operate the boat. If others want to have a few drinks on the water, that’s okay.
The captain should never be drinking and operating a vehicle. It’s something you don’t do.
You’ll put yourself and your passengers at risk. You should also monitor how much your passengers drink. Remember, you’re out in open water, and passengers can easily fall overboard and drown if they’ve consumed too much alcohol.
6. Sign Up for a Boating Safety Course
If you’re nervous about taking the boat out or feel like you need more safety training, then you can sign up for a boating safety course. Taking this course is a great way to ensure you’re confident when operating your boat.
During the course, you can ask any questions you may have about boating safety. Speak to the instructor about different ways to feel safer and make your passengers feel safer as well.
7. Conduct Proper Boat Maintenance
One of the last ways to ensure you keep yourself and everyone else safe while on the boat is to conduct proper boat maintenance. Schedule routine maintenance for your boat to ensure it’s in good condition at all times.
The propeller should be checked often and can be replaced with used boat propellers if needed. The engine and other areas of the boat should be well-maintained as well. You can always have the Coast Guard do a free vessel safety check on your boat if you want to be sure it’s good to go.
Follow These Boating Safety Tips to Remain Safe on the Waters
Boating is exciting and is the perfect way to have fun the entire day. Safety should come before anything else, though. Follow the boating safety tips listed here to ensure you have a fun and safe boating trip.
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