The Basic Rules of Staying Safe in a Boat

Boating is one of the activities people usually do with their families and friends during their leisure time. It is all about exploring the vast blue sea and having fun while experiencing new adventures. Aside from that, boating is all about being safe. No matter how expert you are in boating, it is always a good idea to know and let everyone familiarize themselves with the basic rules and the safety tips when boating. Listed below are some tips to make your boating activity fun and exciting while avoiding taking a wrong turn.

Always bring a boat safety kit

Bringing a safety kit every time you go boating is a must. You can’t predict emergencies, so it is important to be always prepared under any circumstances. Your safety kit must include essential items like flashlights, first aid kit, bucket, rope, duct tape, whistle, and fire extinguisher.

Always check the weather before sailing in the sea

Do not forget to check the weather condition on your route and destination. Sunny days are the best time for boating. However, you can’t always predict when a storm will arrive. Check if there is gusting in the wind and if the water is choppy. Those are signs when a storm is about to come. 

Avoid overloading the boat with people or equipment

When a boat is overloaded, there is a possibility that it is going to capsize. Always follow the capacity restriction of your craft to avoid instability. 

Never forget to wear life jackets

Life jackets are a must when boating. Aside from keeping a person afloat, other life jackets are designed to keep the face up of an unconscious person and can also prevent hypothermia.  Before buying a life jacket, try it out to ensure that it fits you well. You should also make sure that the life jacket that you purchase is appropriate for the kind of water activity you’ll be having. 

Maintain fresh air circulation

Before sailing, always check the hatches and smell for harmful fumes.  The presence of carbon monoxide can be harmful to the passengers of the boat. It could cause your guests to be unconscious. Know and check the places where the dangerous fumes and gas could pile up. Do not start the engine if harmful fumes are detected. 

Avoid contact with propellers

Propellers can cause serious injuries to people. Before starting the engine, everyone must be in the boat or away from the propellers. Do not allow people to sit near the location of the propellers. No one must board or exit the boat from the water if the engine is alive. Use a propeller guard or sensors for additional safety. 

Keep a safe distance from others in the water

Be mindful of other boaters and swimmers. Make sure that you are following your directions and make a proper distance from others. Observe boating rules established by owners and authorities to avoid disturbing fellow boaters. 

Do not drink alcoholic beverages before boating

Alcohol can be more dangerous when you are in water than on land. The effects of alcohol can speed up because of the waves, vibrations, and engine noises. Aside from that, it can also impair someone’s judgment and reaction time. Drinking and boating are dangerous like drinking and driving, so one must avoid doing them.  

Prepare extra communication options

It is good to have extra mobile phones sealed in a water-resistant bag every time you go boating. Radios are also a need when you go sailing. These things would be a great help in case of emergencies where you need to contact people. 

Select an assistant skipper

Ensure that you are not the only person in the boat who knows how to operate the engine. Designate someone who knows how to handle a boat, where the safety equipment is stored, and the fundamental and safety rules when boating.  

Prepare a float plan before sailing

Let someone else know about your boating activity. Inform these people where you are going and the duration of your trip. You should also include the name, address, phone number, and emergency contact person of the people on board, and also the registration information of the boat you are using. 

Take a safety course in boating

Taking a boating safety course is essential before sailing. One must be familiar with the rules and the responsibilities when you go boating. Boating courses can be guaranteed to prevent accidents from happening. 

Always get your boat checked before sailing

It is important to have your boat checked before going to the sea to check if it is in the proper condition to operate. A check-up will help avoid unfortunate incidents from happening while you’re on your trip.    Always inspect for significant damage on your boat so that you can have peace of mind while you enjoy the amazing boat ride.