It’s not about how many trips you have, or how much boating experience you have in your life. Accidents can strike any minute and anytime during your boating trip. It is always good to come prepared EVERY time. Here are some of the usual yet most neglected boating safety tips:
1. Always follow a Pre-Departure checklist
Make sure to follow a pre-departure checklist every time you leave the pier. Your Pre-Departure Checklist should at least include enough life jackets for everyone onboard, sound producing device (horns or whistles), flashlights, and distress signals (flares). You may also want to add tools and spares for your boat, fire extinguishers and fuel.
2. Know the Weather
The weather is your best ally on the open waters. Always check the conditions of your local weather before and during departure. Tune into radio forecasts because nature can suddenly change its course. If there are any rough changes in the winds or sudden temperature drop, play it safe and get to dry land.
3. Designate a Second in Command person
Another important part of sailing is to have another assistant Skipper or at least another second in command person onboard. This person must be familiar with all another aspect of the boat operations, and general safety. Make sure that you are not just the only person who knows how to handle your boat. Just in case you got injured (hopefully not) another person can take charge of the boat’s safety and can get everyone back to shore.
4. Create a Float Plan
Before leaving make sure someone knows your plan in the open waters. You can tell one of your family member or an employee at your local marina your boating itinerary. For your safety, this can include:
- Boating itinerary
- The boat registration information and boat type
- Name, address and contact number of the boating leader
- Name and contact number of all passengers
- The communication and signal equipment onboard
5. Avoid alcohol at all cost
Alcohol and water do not mix in any kind of occasions. The chances of accidents increased ten folds when alcohol is involved during the trip. Alcohol reduces mind logic and you would not want to be on the open seas without proper thinking.
6. Stay vigilant
Common sense is the most important part of your boating trip, it’s all self-explanatory but it is also the most ignored trait. Common sense sailing means operating at a safe speed particularly in crowded areas, staying alert and keeping clear away from large vessels. Always check watercrafts for since some waterways can be restricted when turning or stopping. Another precaution to take is to check for buoys and other navigational aids. Those are safety measures placed for the safety of all boats and watercrafts.
7. Use lifejackets
Most drowning victims are because boaters are not wearing lifejackets. It is important that you stored sufficient life jackets onboard. Make sure these life-saving devices are easily accessible and everyone knows where to get lifejackets. Better yet, fit the lifejackets, make sure each passenger has their own before leaving for the open waters.
Carved Lake Art is the go to place for nautical gifts for the boater in your life. We offer custom laser cut wood maps, charts and memorabilia like coffee tables and clocks.