Boating is an enjoyable outdoor activity that you can enjoy alone, with a partner, or with a group. You can unwind and spend time outdoors, along with the scenic beauty of nature. Like in any outdoor activity, you must prepare in case of emergencies and prioritize your safety at all times.
You should check out these essential boating safety tips to be ready on your next boating trip.
- Enroll In A Boating Safety Class
Based on statistics, the majority of boating accidents are due to operator error. Before going on a boating trip, you must know the rules and your responsibilities. You should enroll in a boating safety course at ilearntoboat.com if you want to be ready and stay safe at the same time.
- Always Have A Boat Safety Kit On Hand
Emergencies can occur without any warning, and you should be ready for any scenario that comes your way. A boat safety kit should always be available on board, no matter the size of the vessel. Some of the items to include in your safety kit include the following:
- Duct tape
- First aid kit
- Whistle. A whistle is a must-have tool which is vital in calling for help on the water.
- Garbage bags
- Mirror. A mirror or any reflective object will come in handy when signaling for help.
- Fire extinguisher
- Life jackets
- Bring Along The Appropriate Life Jackets
During boating, life jackets are essential. The life jackets not only keep you afloat in case you end up overboard, but most will turn an unconscious individual face up and even prevent hypothermia.
All boats should have a certified life jacket for everyone on board. In some areas, it also requires children to wear life jackets at all times while boating. Make sure that you will choose a life jacket that is suitable for your height and weight. Remember that you can find various types of life jackets on the market.
- Monitor The Weather Conditions Before Your Boating Activity
If you plan a boating trip, it is best to go out during sunny, warm days, but you cannot always predict when a storm might suddenly roll in.
The varying wind gusts and choppy water are clear indications of an incoming storm. Take note that even if it is a warm day, the water might reflect freezing temperatures.
- Do Not Overload The Boat
In some instances, a boating emergency is likely to occur when a boat is beyond its capacity. Always follow the capacity restriction of your vessel. When you overload your boat with passengers or equipment, it can disrupt the balance of your vessel.
- Inspect For Harmful Fumes
After you refuel your boat, make it a point to open all the hatches and try to smell for fumes. Once you detect even a faint odor, do not start the engine.
Carbon monoxide can build up in and around your boat and can unexpectedly put you and the passengers on board unconscious. You should be familiar with all the potential areas in the body where fumes and gases can build-up.
- Common Sense While On The Water
Always remember that the rules on the water are still somewhat the same while on the road. It is vital to use common sense, such as being alert and vigilant while boating and controlling at a safe speed, and ensuring that all passengers are safely within the perimeters of the boat.
- Proper Anchoring And Docking procedures
Even if you have the right anchor, you should also consider several factors to ensure proper anchoring. The best way to prevent the wind from tugging your boat is to drop two anchors in a V-formation at the vessel's front to prevent it from drifting. You need to drop the anchor in deeper level, ideally at around 20-30 feet, to prevent the tide from lifting your anchor away.
Docking can be a challenge for most, depending on the current, type of boat, and the wind. Once you approach the shore or dock, make sure that your craft's bumper is out to prevent damage to your vessel. Lower the speed and secure the docking lines. In case the wind is moving towards the shore, you should position your boat around two feet from the dock, and the breeze will steadily pull it in and secure with lines.
When it comes to boating, always prioritize the safety of everyone. With the help of these safety tips, it will keep your boating experience a safe and enjoyable one at all times.