There’s nothing better than stretching out on a boat as the sun shines overhead and the water gently rolls under you. Boating is a wonderful way to spend summer days, as long as you and your family understand basic boat safety principles. Otherwise, you might have to cut the relaxation short with a trip to the hospital.
Keep your day fun and your passengers safe by following these boating best practices.
Boat Safety: Basics
• Make sure your marina has good lighting, fire extinguishers, surveillance cameras, standpipes, and security measures in place.
• Require everyone on your boat to wear personal flotation devices—especially children and people who can’t swim.
• Avoid swimming near marinas because boaters might not see you as they try to dock.
• Wear nonslip shoes while walking around the watercraft and dock.
• Keep your boat in great shape. Make sure all equipment meets local safety standards.
• Check that your marina offers the correct power voltage for your watercraft.
• Only add fuel to your portable tanks while on the dock—never on the deck of your boat.
Boat Safety: Docking
• Keep your boat at an idle speed when docking or maneuvering near a marina.
• Get your mooring lines, boat hooks, and bumpers ready before you dock.
• Keep all passengers and all body parts inside the watercraft until it has completely stopped.
• When docking, the first line you tie should be the one that secures the boat against the wind.
Boat Safety: Fire Prevention
A fire is every boater’s nightmare. Decrease the chances that one will start by regularly inspecting fuel hoses and containers. Frequently examine your boat’s wiring and appliances for damage, as well. You’ll also need to place smoke detectors in your cabin and keep fire extinguishers on your deck.