In the United States, you will find about 12 million registered boats. As more people continue to enjoy this pastime, it becomes increasingly important to practice safety on the water.
Safe boating means enjoying fun in the sun whether you want to relax or get adventurous. Read on to learn 7 must-know boat safety tips that will help protect you and your crew.
1. Provide Plenty of Life Jackets
When you invite people onto your boat, you take on responsibility for their safety. This means you must provide the proper amount of life jackets to keep them safe in case of an incident. This is one of the most basic boating safety tips.
Adults can choose whether or not to wear a jacket, but keep them in an accessible area in case of an emergency. Children under 13 must always put one on prior to stepping foot onto the boat.
Make sure that your life jackets meet coast guard safety standards. Also, pay attention to the weight they will support.
2. Watch Your Numbers
Do not overload your boat. It feels bad to disclude people who want to come, but it feels worse when somebody gets injured on your watercraft.
Too many people on the boat make seating an issue, which makes moving unsafe. Everybody needs their own seat. When you pack the boat, it can also get chaotic and distracting for the driver.
3. Drive a Safe Speed
Open waterways do not restrict you with a speed limit. But, this does not mean that you should make the ride a free for all.
You can come upon other boaters, shallow water, and protruding objects quite quickly. Maintain a speed that allows you to react in time.
When towing a tube, it may seem fun to pick up your speed. But you should not exceed 12mph with a kid on back to avoid serious injuries or death.
4. Do Not Drink
You may feel tempted to throw a few backs out on the water. But, alcohol on the boat can compromise everybody.
Drivers cannot legally drink, because their impairment puts everybody on the water at risk. Even allowing passengers to drink can create safety concerns, as somebody could fall or drown more easily.
5. Pay Attention
This sounds like a no brainer. But people often get easily distracted while driving a boat.
Try not to look at your passengers for conversation. And do not keep your eyes in one spot for too long. Scan your surroundings as you navigate.
Also, watch for markers and signs. These will alert you to spots you should drive slowly through or avoid altogether.
6. CarryTowing Equipment
Out of all the boating tips, this one eludes many boaters. They will make sure they keep everything required and then forget about the rest.
Though you want to avoid breaking down, sometimes it happens. Prepare yourself for another boater to help you by keeping a tower accessory aboard.
Follow Boat Safety Tips
Following boat safety tips does not put a damper on your fun. In fact, it allows you to relax and enjoy it all a little more.
As boating season comes to a close, are you looking for other hobbies? Check out our sports section for ideas!