It is critical to maintain safety when pursuing the boating lifestyle; doing so allows you to enjoy the experience fully. Whether sailing with passengers or alone, safety should always come first. Following common sense boating tips everyone should know ensures that everyone has a pleasant time on the water.
Do Your Research
Before hitting the open waters, determine the boating activity you plan on doing and make sure you meet any necessary watercraft registration requirements. The license process and fees pertaining to it differ depending on the location, so you must take the appropriate steps to obtain it.
If you think paying a fee for your license seems unfair, know that money is going back to improving the waterways you are traveling. Without these fees, the clean, pristine waters could take a turn for the worse.
Bring Emergency Items Along for the Ride
While you should always have safety jackets for each passenger, you should also have additional emergency equipment. Items as basic as duct tape can be advantageous, or a bucket that can assist you in the event that water enters the vessel.
Create a checklist of all the essential safety gear that can handle a multitude of situations; it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Finally, if you are lost at sea, leaving a float plan is a sound strategy, especially if it’s going to be a multi-day affair. A float plan gives the authorities a good idea of where they can start looking for you if something goes awry.
Slow It Down
Since there are no lanes and plenty of areas to roam, boating speed limits may feel pointless to a rookie rider. However, responsible boaters should always abide by the speed restrictions.
Everything may be going well until you skid over another boat’s unexpected wake. Traveling over a wave you weren’t expecting at high speed could result in disaster, causing serious damage to your vessel or severe injuries to people onboard. Thus, err on the side of caution and take it easy.
Check the Weather Report
Surely, you are excited that the day has finally come to enjoy the day out in the water. However, Mother Nature can be fickle, and she undoubtedly doesn’t care about the vacation plans you set. Even if skies are clear in the morning, that doesn’t mean a thunderstorm isn’t expected later in the afternoon.
That’s why it is imperative that you always look at the weather report before stepping onboard. The weather report can change drastically overnight, so don’t take for granted what you thought you knew 24 hours ago.
Everyone should know that learning these common sense boating tips doesn’t require you to be a nautical mastermind. Anyone can follow these tips when it comes down to it, as long as they put their mind to it.