Safe Boating Tips

Boat Handling Guide Sticker Image

Wait! Before Leaving

File a Float Plan

Use a Pre-underway Checklist List

Boating Safety Suggestions

from The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
  • Always wear your life jacket.
  • Alcohol and safe boating operation just don't mix.
  • Know how to swim.
  • Read the owner's manual for your boat.
  • Always maintain a good look where you're going. Stay to the right of oncoming vessels.
  • Keep a whistle or horn readily available.
  • Stay away from tugs, towboats and large ships.
  • Stay away from swimming beaches, waterfront residences, jetties, dams and shallow water.
  • Don't cut in front of other boats or jump wakes.
  • Check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher.
  • Show consideration to others; be courteous and use common sense in the operation of your craft.
  • Be thoroughly familiar with the maneuvering characteristics of your craft. 

    Always be considerate of other water enthusiasts. Be responsible. Be safe.
    Your life may depend upon it!

  • More Boating Safety Information

    Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Boating Pages: Online
    forms; information on laws, titling, and registration.

    United States Coast Guard Auxiliary: Links to other Auxiliary pages, the
    Coast Guard pages, and more.

    National Safe Boating Campaign: Lots of good and interesting information
    about life jackets, as well as other safety tips. Campaign info.

    Boating Safety Page: Take a "Lights Quiz". Float plan form, Aids to
    Navigation, and more. Sponsored by the Sea Tow Foundation.

    Boat US: Online boating safety course, online store, message boards, links and much
    more. Comprehensive boating site.

    Yacht Survey Online: Over 100 articles on the subjects of buying, owning and maintaining
    boats. Blisters, bilges, and boat sinking.

    Navigation Rules: Download Nav Rules and exam questions. FAQs, links, and

    Wear Life Jacket image