While boating, the most important thing is to keep yourself and anyone else aboard safe. It is also vital to remember how to keep your boat safe when you are not using it. Plan ahead and make sure you’re prepared for any possible situation.
- Have enough life vests for all passengers.
Also make sure life vests properly fit all passengers in case they need to be used. Test your life jackets at least once a year to ensure that they are still working.
- Take a water safety course.
Be prepared to properly operate your boat before you plan to set out on the water. 70% of boating accidents are caused by simple errors.
- Preplan your course and share it.
Plan the course ahead of time and share it with someone who is not going on your sea voyage with you. In case something happens, someone would know where to look for you.
- Check the weather before departure.
The biggest safety hazard on the water is storms. It’s imperative that you’re aware of the weather patterns before attempting a trip on the water.
- Follow the Maritime Laws.
Just as you are expected to follow all traffic laws on the road when driving a car, you are required to follow the rules on the water as well. If you are unfamiliar with these laws, make sure you educate yourself before moving out onto the water.
- Carry a first aid kit.
You never know what could happen when you’re out at sea, so make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit so you can be prepared for any possible situations.
- Do not drink and drive on the boat.
Drinking and driving also applies to boats. It can be just as dangerous to be driving a boat while intoxicated. You can also be arrested and be charged with a BUI.
- Install a motion detector on the boat.
This is a great idea if you’re concerned your boat may be stolen. You’ll be notified of any movement near or inside your boat and have enough time to respond.
- Moor your boat in a well-lit area.
Storing your boat in a well-lit marina is the best way to keep your boat from being stolen. It’s recommended to store your boat in a marina with security and get to know who occupies the docks around you.
- Secure your boat to the dock.
If your boat is not secured, it is much more likely to be a target because thieves can simply hitch it up and tow it away. Use a boat security lock, preferably one with a locking steel cable that cannot easily be broken.
- Secure the outboard motor to the boat.
Some thieves may attempt to take the motor because this is an easier target than the entire boat. Make sure that you secure the motor to the boat itself to prevent it from being taken.
- Install an alarm system.
There is no better deterrent than a security system. Some wireless security systems even have engine kill switches, which make your boat almost impossible to steal. Having an alarm system installed on your vessel is a great way to keep it safe when you’re not using it.
When planning your next boating trip make sure you plan ahead so that you are prepared for anything you may encounter on the water. Be sure to secure your boat when you’re finished and take the time to make sure it will be safe in your absence.