Gathering family and friends to head out on your boat can be some of the most exciting times. Each trip is filled with the unknown and freedom to do and go anywhere you choose. Boating enthusiasts of all experience know however that things can and will go wrong miles out at see in the blink of an eye, and if you are unprepared this goes from a dangerous to deadly situation.
Always fill up the boat with fuel before leaving the safety of the shores. Know where the nearest fuel stations are, and plan on one or more being without service so you have a back-up plan in case you run low.
Make sure that before you leave the shore, at least one person staying behind knows what your plans are for the day. If you run into trouble and don’t return on time, this person can help pinpoint your location so help can find you in a timely manner.
The best thing that you can do to protect all your guests is take a boating safety class as soon as possible. These classes are designed to show you all the possible scenarios that can take place out on the water and how you need to be able to spring to action quickly.
If you haven’t already, your boat needs to be equipped with enough life jackets for every person on board including yourself. A capsized boat could send someone into the water and under so quickly you will never be able to locate them to help in time.
A charged phone is a good idea, but without cell service they are worthless. Your boat radio must be checked and working, and it wouldn’t hurt to buy a satellite weather radio too. Dangerous storms can pop up quickly and put you in severe danger if you are not aware.
Never mix alcohol and driving your boat. The boat should be considered the same as driving a vehicle, so never mix the two because even though you think you are miles from prying eyes, you make a costly mistake because you are drunk and you risk the lives of everyone.
Take the time to follow these simple steps and the next time you head out for a day on the water with your family or friends will truly be memorable for everyone on your boat.