Whether for sport or for recreation, on a lake or in the open sea; few things are more enjoyable than a day of boating. No matter where you may be boating, it is always important to prioritize safety. This is not to say that safety must take a back seat to fun–in fact, the two often go hand-in-hand. Here are four simple tips that can help improve both safety and enjoyment at the same time!
1. Remember to fill up on gas.
Nothing can more easily ruin a day on the water than running out of fuel and becoming stranded. Particularly when out in the ocean, it is crucial to keep a close eye on the fuel gauge and to not take risks when determining how long your boat can run on a single tank. Becoming lost at sea and immobile can be irritating at best and life-threatening at worst.
2. Take note of weather and of water currents.
Before you start your boat and head out into the water, it is important to first check the weather to make sure that no storms are approaching. Excessively large waves and lightning can be a safety hazard, causing damage to your boat and putting passengers at risk. Strong currents in the ocean can also pull you far off course, so be wary of these as well.
3. Pack the proper equipment.
Boating is always safer (not to mention more enjoyable) with the proper equipment around. This should include, at the very least, lifejackets for everyone on board, a compass or GPS (if on the ocean), a first aid kit, and a flotation device for rescue from the water. Food/snacks and drinking water are usually not bad investments either. See the Beacon-Watch online store for more important boating safety equipment!
4. Understand your boat and the rules of boating
This subject is not quite as straightforward as the others, seeing as all boats are different in size and shape, as are local/state boating laws. However, this may be one of the most important rules, as understanding how your boat works and what its capabilities are–as well as the universal and local rules of boating–is crucially essential to safety. To earn this kind of knowledge, you may want (or, some cases, actually be required by your local government) to attend a boating class.
Check out more articles in the Beacon-Watch blog for more important boating safety advice!