Safety is key to having an enjoyable time on the water. View these essential boating safety tips to protect yourself and your passengers all throughout the boating season.
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Wear a Life Jacket
You might think that because you can swim, you don’t need to wear a life jacket. But if you want to maintain complete safety on your boat, you should always wear your life jacket. This is especially important if you are fishing near the edge of the boat, or if the water is particularly choppy. Of course, never ski or go tubing without wearing a life jacket.
Minimize Alcohol Consumption
Boating is a fun activity that’s usually best on a hot, sunny day. We’d be naive if we thought alcohol was not consumed on boats during gorgeous afternoons like these! However, you should emphasize to your passengers that this is a boating trip, not a drinking cruise, and you expect them to keep consumption to a responsible level. As the “captain” of your boat, you should avoid alcohol so you can maintain control from start to finish.
Take a Boating Safety Course
If you want to be the best boater possible, a safety course is crucial. At a safety course—especially one approved or administered by the U.S. Coast Guard—you’ll get a reliable education on how to properly maneuver and steer your boat in a variety of conditions. You’ll also learn how to keep your passengers safe and how to properly dock. Even if you are an experienced boater, these classes can be crucial for long-term safety.
Check the Weather Before Leaving
More than any other hobby, boating depends on clear, calm weather and ideal conditions. Always check the local forecast before you leave on a boating trip. If there is any chance of stormy conditions, it may be best to wait. After all, your passengers will probably have more fun on a nicer day.
When in Doubt, Go Slow
It’s one of those obvious statements that all too many boaters forget—slow is best for boating. In open, unobstructed water, feel free to drop the throttle. Near other boats, around docks, and in shallow water, take it slow to keep your boat free from damage and your guests free from harm.
Be in Charge of Your Boat the Entire Time
Above all, it’s up to you to be in charge of the boat the entire time. It’s your craft, your property, and your responsibility. So, even if you’re not naturally a take-charge person, make sure your passengers understand that you will be calling the shots. You don’t need to be a task-mastering dictator, but someone needs to decide whether certain behavior is acceptable—be that person!
Purchase A Comfortable Craft for Safe Boating
With these essential boating safety tips, you’ll enjoy safe boating all year long. If you’d like to purchase a new craft, browse our selection of world-class vessels from Scout! We have everything from large offshore boats to small, shallow-water fishing crafts. Plus, you can customize your selection with custom features using our Build Your Scout tool! Try it today to design your ideal vessel.