Now that your boat is out of storage and you’re ready to set sail, remember that the safety of you and your passengers is of the utmost importance.
Summer is here and the great outdoors is waiting for you. Before you take your inaugural boating expedition, however, you should consider a few basics for the well-being of you and your crew. Remember these safety tips for recreational boating to ensure you have nothing but good times out on the water.
Even if you’re just headed out on the water to relax, you must keep your boat thoroughly stocked with safety equipment. Keep a first aid kit on hand, as well as a flashlight, a whistle, a fire extinguisher, and a roll or two of duct tape. Plan for any possible emergency.
Watch the weather, too. Look at the seven-day forecast and stay mindful of any hazardous conditions that may spring up. Water can be unpredictable, whether it’s the temperature, the current, or both.
Wear a life jacket and tell all your passengers to do the same. Even if you consider yourself a strong swimmer, a life jacket can help during an emergency. Make sure all of your life jackets are functional and fit properly.
If you haven’t operated your boat in a while, take a boating safety course. Read up on proper docking procedure and make sure you’re confident maneuvering it in an emergency. (Plus, if you complete the safety course and receive a certification, you may be eligible for a reduced rate on your insurance.)
Do all the same things you would do with a car: pay attention to the path in front of you, drive at a safe speed, and put down your phone.
Don’t drink and drive! It’s illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, and you can be charged with a BUI (boating under the influence). Save cocktail hour for after your boat ride.
When you’re ready to go on your first boating adventure of the summer, make sure you’re prepared for any situation before you hit the water. With these safety tips for recreational boating in mind, your boat trips will provide memories to last a lifetime.