Boating is an enjoyable activity that can be shared with family and friends. If you are the skipper of the boat, though, you will be responsible not only for the enjoyment of your guests, but their safety, too. It is important that onboard your vessel you have the necessary boat safety equipment. You should ensure that none of it is expired, it is completely filled and still operating as intended.
Most boating trips go out on the water and return with no problems, but just in case, here are three safety tips.
A pre-departure checklist helps ensure that your equipment is up to par. You will want to double-check that you have enough life vests on the boat, your distress signals are in good shape and the fire extinguishers are not expired. This is the time to also ensure your vessel if full of fuel and the oil levels are good. Even though you may not use them if you venture out during the daylight hours, you will still want to make sure all lights are operating.
Even on days when the weather is cooperating, it is still recommended that you re-check the anticipated weather conditions. Things can be different out at sea, so you should be aware of any weather patters that may form during your voyage. Clouds can suddenly darken and the wind can become a little more aggressive without a lot of warning. If you start to see these and other harsher weather signs while you are out on the water, it is better to turn around and head back toward land.
Use Good Judgment
Ultimately, boating should be fun. Amidst that fun, it is a great idea to exercise good judgment at all times. As the skipper, you should follow sea safety rules like driving at reasonable speeds, not consuming alcohol and being respectful of others who may be sharing the waters with you. Setting up a float plan before you head out is a good idea in case of an emergency, and designating an assistant skipper may ease some of your responsibilities.
Heading out on the water can provide a sense of freedom, relaxation and fun. With being the skipper of a boat comes a lot of responsibility. To have an enjoyable time, ensure you have completed a pre-departure checklist, checked the weather conditions and exercise good judgment.