Service your winches and rinse blocks with fresh water On Deck Give each winch a quick spin. If they’re not turning freely, now is the time to strip and clean them. Windlass issues are almost always down to poor connections. Inspect these closely, especially at the foot switches, and if necessary take the connections apart, clean them, apply some petroleum jelly or dielectric grease and reassemble.
It’s no fun thinking about boating accidents (and, fortunately, your odds of experiencing one are fairly low.) That being said, a bit of forethought can go a long way towards ensuring your safety—even if accidents are the last thing you want to be thinking about before hitting the lake! Here is an interesting breakdown of boating accidents by type provided by the California Department of Boating and Waterways that give you an idea of what to watch out for on the open water.
- 32% of reported boating accidents in 2013 were collisions between two or more boating vehicles.
- 22% involved flooding and/or swamping.
- 13% involved grounding.
- 12% involved sinking.
- 11% of accidents were, in fact, skiing accidents.
- 10% were related to capsizing.
- 8% were man-overboard situations due to a fall.
- 6% were boater-ejections.
- 5% were caused by collision with a fixed object.
- 3% were cause by fire and/or explosion.
- *Note that some accidents involved more than one of the above criteria, which is why the percentages add up to be above 100.
So what can we learn from all of this? First of all, collisions are more common than the average boater assumes! Just because water doesn’t involve “traffic” the same way your morning commute does, doesn’t mean you should take your fellow boaters for granted! Boating collisions can be catastrophic, which is why it is highly important to always be aware and considerate when on the water.
Secondly, we can see that man-overboard situations add up to 14% of all accidents when falls and ejections are added together. This emphasizes the importance of wearing your lifejacket—after all, your life vest won’t do you any good if it is resting in the boat when you end up in the water! Moreover, you may wish to consider investing in an emergency locator beacon in order to assist should such a situation arise.
Finally, it is important to note that water-skiing, while exhilarating, does come with a bit of risk. To minimize the risks, skiers should always be alert, wear life jackets, and avoid skiing while under the influence.
For more boating safety advice, visit Beacon-Watch online today.
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!
Bring the Right Equipment!
Safe boating is all about responsibility–and that responsibility starts before ever getting in the water. One important step to take before voting is making sure that you comply with all standardized list of required equipment. You can see a full list of all federally required items to be carried on recreational boats here. in this article, we will highlight three important items that are most likely to be overlooked.
Number one – fire extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are not just for large vessels. When you’re on the water, help can be very slow in arriving, and fire damage can quickly render a boat unserviceable. Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher on hand at all times.
Number 2 – sound producing device and visual distress signal
In the event of a water emergency, it is crucial to alert other people in the surrounding area. This both allows them to help you, and prevents you from becoming a danger to them. Though radios can come in very handy for reporting incident to the proper authorities, visual and audio signals remain the most effective way of learning your fellow boaters share the water with you.
Number 3 – Personal flotation device
How did life jackets land on this list of items likely to be forgotten during a boating outing? After all, most boaters do understand the importance of bringing along life jackets. Sadly, many boaters feel that they do not need to wear their life jackets at all times – thus exposing themselves to unnecessary danger.
A final word
As we mentioned before, the above list was incomplete, and is only intended to highlight a few important items. Be sure to visit this link for a full list of required items. Last but not least, it is important to remember that some important items are not necessarily required, but are still worth investing in. For many, especially extreme sports enthusiasts, a personal locator beacon is a perfect example of this.
Visit the Beacon Watch Blog for more information on boating safety.