It’s summer—and longer days, warm water and abundant sunshine means everyone wants to be on their boat (including us). Busy waterways mean it’s important to take extra precautions to ensure safety and fun for everyone involved. Here are some tips for making the most of your excursion.
Make sure your horn works properly (or that you have an air whistle).
This is essential for alerting other boaters you’re nearby.
Make sure your software is updated and working properly.
Software updates help maintain device functionality, provides added features and compatibilities to new products, and are part of routine spring and winter maintenance performed on the boat. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions!
This keeps everyone safe and allows other boaters to know what you’re doing before there’s a potential problem.
Need to glance at your electronics, check your position, or do anything else that will divert your eyes from the water? Get out of the channel and stop before you do so—or ask someone else on board to help.
Enlist fellow passengers for help.
See above. This also goes for watching for anchor lines if you decide to stop for a swim, keeping their eyes out for other boats and pointing out any obstacles that may arise.
Give yourself extra time to get to your destination, and slow down when you approach the dock or boat ramp.
And don’t forget:
- Wear your life jacket
- Take a boating safety class
- Carry all required safety gear
- Use your engine cut-off device
- File a float plan
- Be aware of weather and water conditions
- Boat sober, and be considerate of others