Boating Safety Info

Wear your life jacket: As the operator of a boat, you are responsible for the boat and all people on board. Remember, safety is not a set of rules--it's an attitude, and common sense will make your trip and your passengers' boating experience more enjoyable.

General Tips:

1) GOOD HOUSEKEEPING: There are few places where good housekeeping habits are more important than on your boat. Keep decks and cabin area clean and free from clutter and debris, such as fishing poles, tackle boxes, and cleaning equipment (such as hoses, buckets, and brushes). See that a spill of any kind is wiped up as soon as possible. Serious injuries to yourself and passengers can be avoided when you develop a good habit of storing things in the same place. Also, this will save time if you need something in an emergency.

2) TOOLS AND SPARE PARTS: It's a good idea to carry a tool box and a few spare parts, such as water pump belt, spark plugs, distributor cap, fuel filter, fuses and spare bulbs, just to name a few. Learn how to make minor repairs if you can, and if you would rather not, at least you may have the parts on board if someone else offers a hand.

3) MAINTENANCE: Keep a record of scheduled maintenance items, such as oil and filter changes, fuel filter replacement, and battery replacement. Before you leave the dock, check oil level, battery for water, navigation lights, and periodically add dry gas (water remover) to your fuel tanks.

4) FUEL SUPPLY: Always start your trip with a FULL tank of fuel; service stations are not to be found on the water. When you plan a boating trip, here's a good rule to remember. It's called the rule of thirds, and it works! a) One third of a tank to get you there; b) One third of a tank to get you home, and; c) One third of a tank just in case.

5) DRUGS AND ALCOHOL: Never mix drugs and/or alcohol with boating; they affect your ability to react and cause poor judgement. Moreso, when you factor in the hot sun, wind, and noises aboard your boat, they cause more fatigue than you realize; and this is the catalyst for a serious boating accident.

6) MORE GOOD IDEAS: a) Have a first aid kit on board; b) Have a flashlight and spare batteries; c) Listen to weather forecast; d) Float plan--tell someone at home or a friend when and where you are going, with whom, when you expect to be back, and who to call if they don't hear from you in a reasonable time. Remember to tell them when you arrive back so they can cancel the watch!

Article by G Aman