Once you are ready to head out on the water there are some important safety measures to remember to protect you and your passengers from injury.
1. Don’t overload the boat with people or equipment
Always follow your boat’s capacity restriction. Overloading your boat with passengers or equipment can unbalance your craft.
2. Use common sense on the water
Rules on the water aren’t much different than rules on the road. It’s important to use common sense, such as staying alert at all times, operating at a safe speed and ensuring that passengers stay safely within the boat’s railings.
3. Follow proper docking procedures
Depending on the wind, the current and your type of boat, docking can be a challenge. As you approach the dock or shore, make sure your bumpers are out to prevent damage to your craft, reduce your speed and make sure the docking lines are secured. If the wind is blowing towards the shore, bring the boat about two feet from the dock and the wind will gently pull it in. You can then secure it with lines. If the wind is blowing away from the shore, approach the dock at a 20- to 30-degree angle to compensate for the wind. Then secure the bow line.
4. Follow proper anchoring procedures
Having the right anchor isn’t enough. To keep the wind from dragging your boat, you may need to drop two anchors in a V-formation at the front of the craft to keep it from drifting. To help prevent the tide from lifting your anchor, you may need to drop it in deeper water – about 20-30 feet or so.
5. Have FUN!
Boating is a fun activity. It is important to follow certain safety procedures to ensure everyone has a good time and arrives safely back on shore.