Labor day is coming up quickly. Monday September 7th is anticipated to be the busiest boating day of the season.
As the last big boating weekend is approaching it is important to have fun; But most importantly remember these helpful tips and safety points when you are out on the water.
Get your vessel checked out for free
The Coast Guard will inspect your boat to see if it is in proper working order to be out on the water, and they will also make sure you are not missing any essential items needed for departure and a safe return.
Pay attention to the weather!
Check your local forecast before you begin planning your departure. Be sure to frequently check your local forecast to ensure good weather throughout your entire trip.
Take a boating course
There is no harm in freshening up on your boating “do’s and don’ts” and these courses designed for your safety may come in handy when you least expect. These courses are designed much like a drivers education course. The driver should know how to operate the functions of the vessel and know what to do in case of a crisis.
Designate an assistant
There should always be someone else on the vessel who knows how to operate the functions of the boat and how to work it properly.
Designate a float plan
Tell your friends or relatives where you plan to travel with your vessel, and how long you will be gone. Even a local Marina is a sure place to let someone else know where you will be traveling in case of an emergency.
Follow a check list before your departure
The safest way to ensure you’ve packed all of the essential items you need for your weekend is with a checklist. Be sure to make a checklist of items you will need to bring with you on your vessel, but also make a checklist for items that need to be on-board with your vessel at all times. These items include the proper licenses and other paper work.
Use common sense.
Don’t drink and drive. This rule applies to boating as well. The driver should be sober and able to operate the vessel at any given time. Use your life jackets. Their purpose is for safety. Be sure that there are enough life jackets on board for every passenger that will be on the vessel. This includes our four legged friends, be sure your pets have the proper safety gear. Learn to swim. Seems pretty simple, but some people out on their vessels do not know how to properly swim. This includes children as well, if they are on the vessel be sure that they know how to swim in case of an emergency. This is also where your life jackets will come in handy.
Other helpful information:
The National Weather Service broadcasts marine forecasts regularly. These forecasts can also be heard on channels 1 through 5 on a VHF radio.
High demands at marinas can easily bring long lines, long waits, and lack of parking. Most marinas will urge you to contact them for the best launch times and to get updates on parking.
The Coast Guard and local law enforcement will be out more than usual to ensure every ones safety this holiday weekend. Intoxicated boaters can be fined.