4 Essential Boat Safety Tips
The summer weather is upon us and that likely means you're hungry to get out into the open air and enjoy yourself. If you're a new boat owner that means you're likely giddy at the prospects of getting out on the open water and giving your boat a real spin.
If you're hitting the water this season it's important to learn or refamiliarize yourself with some essential boat safety tips. Maintaining safety while out on the water will be essential if you hope to have a good time while preventing injuries or incidents.
What are some of the most important safety tips and tricks to remember? Read on and we'll walk you through what you need to know.
1. Always Wear a Life Jacket
This is one safety tip that everyone knows but far too many people choose to ignore. We want to reiterate the importance of it here: every person on your boat should be wearing a life jacket.
In boating accidents where someone drowns, over 80% of victims were not wearing life jackets. These are literal life-saving devices and they can make the difference between an accident and a tragedy for you and your crew.
Make sure to invest in a few life jackets before hitting the water and ensure that those you're heading out with wearing them during your time in rough waters. Life jackets will help keep a person afloat if they fall overboard, even if they've been knocked unconscious.
A lifejacket can also help to protect against hypothermia and ensure that an individual can keep their head above water even when conditions may be extra rough.
2. Don't Drink & Boat
You wouldn't do it on the highway and you shouldn't do it out on the water either. There are strict laws against drinking alcohol and operating a boat and you need to abide by these laws, even if your chance of getting pulled over at sea is much less likely.
Alcohol tends to be a leading factor in serious boating accidents. It causes fatal incidents to occur. You need to stay sharp behind the wheel of your boat and drinking while you're on the water is not going to be the way to do that.
If passengers aboard your craft are going to drink, ensure that someone sober can operate the boat and get you back to your destination.
Use common sense while you're out on the water, abide by the laws, and keep you and everyone else on the water safe.
3. Put Together a Boat Safety Kit
You never know what problems you might encounter when you're out at sea. It's best to be prepared for whatever situation might present itself. Putting together a boat safety kit is a great way to ensure you can get through any emergency in one piece.
What should your boat safety kit consist of?
Obviously, you'll want to have a first aid kit on board. Ensure you keep this first aid stocked when you use anything. Also, it's important to note, you need to not only have this first aid kit but know how to use it! Educate yourself prior so you aren't at a loss when something does go wrong.
Your safety kit should also contain rope and extra life jackets. This rope can be a huge help in pulling someone in if they do fall overboard. A few whistles in addition to an air horn can be good to have as they can help you or a passenger signal for help.
It might be a good idea to attach a few whistles to your life jackets so someone has one on them if they do fall over.
Duct tape and buckets are good to have around just in case you do end up springing a leak. These are temporary solutions but they should be able to hold you until you get back to shore.
Having a flashlight, extra batteries, or other sources of light can also be essential if you find yourself out on the water after it gets dark.
Last but not least, having a few extra walkie-talkies that can be used to try to reach help in the case of an emergency can be very smart to have in your own safety kit.
Any and all of these could make great gift wish list requests as well.
4. Always Check The Weather
It might be bright and sunny out as you head down to the docks, but that doesn't mean it's going to stay that way all day. You can't always predict when a storm might roll in, especially in the ever-changing summer months.
It's important to do a thorough check of the current weather report often as you prepare for a day out on the water. You should be looking into the weather as the day of your journey approaches and continue to be checking it throughout your time on the water.
If things change and a storm is planning to come in, you'll want to have as much head notice as possible. This will give you a chance to prepare or to get back to shore before the storm hits.
This is one of the more underrated but essential boating safety tips.
Essential Boat Safety Tips
If you're planning on spending a lot of time out on the water this season, you'll want to get familiar with a few ways to keep you and your friends and family safe. The above boat safety tips are important for ensuring a good and safe time is had out on your vessel.
Trying to keep your boat clean and looking its best this season as well? Check out some of the quality products we have available.