A day on the boat can be a fun experience as long as the right steps are taken to avoid problems. Here are some boating safety tips.
Wear the correct gear!- Each person should have a life jacket on the boat at all times even if it isn’t being worn. Children should be wearing life jackets at all times; in fact, some states have laws requiring it.
Check the weather!-Weather is ever changing, and a boat caught on the water when a storm blows in can quickly find itself in trouble. Keep radios close by to keep tabs on the weather.
Watch the Gas!- If you are not an experienced boater, get help fueling up the boat. Boating magazine provided a few tips for gassing up the boat:
Insist that your guests (and crew) step ashore while you refuel. If something goes wrong, this may help limit potential injuries.
Close all hatches, since fuel vapors are heavier than air and can settle into the lower parts of the boat.
Know your tank’s capacity and look at the fuel gauge before you fill up so you can stop the flow when you near the limit. Do not click on the ignition to check the gauge while filling.
When fueling, make sure to maintain metal-to-metal contact between the pump nozzle and your boat’s fuel pipe. This grounds the nozzle and helps prevent static electricity.
Once you complete fueling, open your boat’s hatches and sniff for gas fumes in the bilge and engine compartment. If you do not detect the smell of gasoline, run the bilge blower for five minutes before starting the engine. This does not apply to outboard motors..
Know how to drive a boat- Some states require you take a boating safety class before you can operate one. Check your state’s DNR website for details.
Keep a signaling device on the boat- Make sure to have a loud horn, whistle or flashlight if you need to send a distress signal.
Never Let Passengers swim around the motor while it is running
Make a plan-Let friends and family know where you will be boating and what time you plan to be back.