Thinking of taking your boat out into the sea this summer? A boating trip can go terribly wrong in a matter of minutes. As a boater you need to be prepared for the worst case scenario to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
Here are some safe boating tips you should know:
Check the Weather
Before you head out into the ocean, you have to check the weather forecast. Your experience in sea is directly dependent on the weather so it’s crucial that you check the forecast before you go off into the sunset.
If you’re an inexperienced boater, it’s best to avoid going into the sea during bad weather.
Make a Checklist
Your boat needs to be equipped with the essentials for smooth sailing. You don’t want to be in the middle of the ocean and realize you’ve forgotten important supplies at home. Prepare a pre-departure checklist to ensure you have everything you need.
Your list should include the following:
- Docking and anchoring tips
- Fire extinguishers
- Fuel and oil
- Red signal flares
- Sound producing devices such as whistles
- Spares and tools
Lifejackets are a necessity for boats of all sizes. When all other safety measures have failed and you’re forced into the water, lifejackets are going to keep you afloat.
Lifejackets come in a range of sizes, make sure you have lifejackets that comfortably fit around all passengers. The last thing you want is to be in middle of an emergency and realize that the lifejackets are too big for your kids.
Avoid Consuming Alcohol
Just like you shouldn’t drink and drive, you should avoid alcohol when you’re on a boat too. You may be able to turn your car on the last minute to prevent crashing into something but you can’t do that with a boat. On a boat, you need to be alert at all times which is difficult when you’ve been drinking.
Take a Boating Course
There are still some states in the US where you can operate a boat without a license but the majority of states require you to complete a boat training and safety course to get a Boater card and license.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced boater, it helps to familiarize yourself with boating law and safety rules.
Boater’s Academy provides an online boater safety course that asks students to go through a free study guide and complete online quizzes. After students pass the final test, they receive boat safety certification, which serves as proof of their knowledge and skills on boat safety.
The course is approved by NASBLA (the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) as well as the U.S. Coast Guard. The certificate can be used to obtain a Boater Card.
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