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Boating Safety Tips to Help Your Enjoy the Season

Boating Safety Tips

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), boat sales increased by 12% with an estimated 310,000 new powerboats sold. The increase in boating interest means there could be over 100 million people boating in the United States this season. That’s a lot of boats out fishing, cruising, or just enjoying some water sports. With the increase in boating activity, there are increased potential accidents. That’s why it’s crucial to have good boat insurance and to follow boating safety tips to ensure you and your passengers return to the dock safely.

Boating safety begins with life jackets

No boating safety tips should begin without a discussion about life jackets. Wearing a life jacket might seem like a hassle or unnecessary, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to stay safe while boating. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and a life jacket can make all the difference between life and death.

Even if you’re a strong swimmer, the water can be unpredictable, and currents can be stronger than you think. Life jackets provide buoyancy and keep you afloat, making it easier to breathe and keeping your head above water. Plus, if you fall overboard, a life jacket makes it easier for rescuers to spot you in the water. So, don’t take any chances – always wear a life jacket when boating.

How to pick the right life jacket

When it comes to life jackets, it’s not just about wearing one – you need to make sure you’re wearing the right one. When picking a life jacket, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure it’s the right size. A life jacket that’s too big or too small won’t provide adequate buoyancy or keep you afloat properly. Check the weight range and chest size on the label to find the right fit.

Next, consider the type of activity you’ll be doing. Different types of life jackets are designed for different activities, such as fishing, waterskiing, or kayaking. Make sure you choose one that’s appropriate for your activity.

Finally, look for a life jacket that’s US Coast Guard approved. This means it’s been tested and meets safety standards for buoyancy, visibility, and durability. With these tips in mind, you can pick a life jacket that’s comfortable, effective, and keeps you safe while enjoying your time on the water.

Essential Boating Safety Tips

Beyond having the proper life jackets on board, there are several other boat safety tips you can follow to make your day on the water safe and enjoyable. Here are the essential safety tips that all boaters should make part of their normal routine:

  • Check the Weather: Before going out on the water, check the weather forecast. Avoid boating during storms, high winds, or heavy rains.
  • Maintain Your Boat: Keep your boat in good condition by performing regular maintenance checks. This includes checking the engine, fuel system, and electrical components.
  • Have Proper Equipment: Ensure that your boat has all the necessary equipment, such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and distress signals. Check that everything is in good condition and in working order.
  • Know the Rules: Familiarize yourself with boating rules and regulations, including speed limits, no-wake zones, and right-of-way rules. Follow these rules to avoid accidents and fines.
  • Don’t Drink and Boat: Boating under the influence is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Alcohol impairs your judgment, reaction time, and balance, making it more likely to cause an accident.

Additional Boating Safety Tips

You’ve made sure you have the right life jackets, and you’re practicing the essential tips. However, there is still more you can do to improve your boating safety. If you want to increase your boating safety game, you can take these additional measures:

  • Take a Boating Safety Course: Taking a boating safety course can provide you with valuable information on boating safety, regulations, and emergency procedures.
  • Let Someone Know Your Plans: Before heading out on the water, let someone know your plans. Tell them where you’re going and when you plan to return.
  • Watch Your Speed: Excessive speed can be dangerous, especially in crowded waterways or areas with low visibility. Slow down and stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a Lookout: Assign someone on the boat to keep a lookout for other boats, obstacles, and potential hazards.
  • Be Prepared for Emergencies: Have a plan in place in case of emergencies, such as a fire, capsizing, or someone falling overboard. Practice emergency procedures with your passengers.

The bottom line

Boating can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but safety should always be a top priority. By following these boating safety tips, you can ensure that you and your passengers stay safe while enjoying the water. Remember to always wear a life jacket, check the weather, maintain your boat, have the proper equipment, know the rules, and never drink and boat.

Beyond the basics, you should also consider having the right boat insurance coverage. If you’re not sure if you need boat insurance, you can call an insurance agent to discuss the benefits. Don’t have an agent? You can always contact us, or start a quote online.

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