Boating is great fun; of that, there’s no doubt. You need to be careful as well, though. While no one wants to swamp you with safety advice, you still need to follow basic guidelines to ensure that you can have fun without incident.
Although it’s tempting to rush off to your boat when you have leisure time, always plan where you’re going and when you aim to return. Then ensure that someone on shore has these details. And on your return, let this person know that you’re back safely.
Food and Water
Even a few hours spent on a boat can be thirsty, and hard, work. Stay hydrated by having plenty of bottled water on board. You should also maintain your energy levels with meals–or at least snack food.
Keep the engine of your boat in excellent condition. Have it serviced regularly and never neglect an engine problem, no matter how small. If you have a motorboat and are entirely reliant on the engine, it’s annoying to find yourself without power and trying to arrange a tow.
Tides are capricious. Treat them with care and make sure you plan your boating around them. In this regard, it’s worth taking an appropriate training course that can give you the confidence to understand the nature of tides and their effects.
Don’t assume anything about the weather when you’re going out on a boat. The easiest way to check the weather these days is online. Just make sure you are covering the right area over the right period.
A marine radio is a must, particularly if you’re at sea. Before you set off on a trip, check that your radio is working.
Marine flares are invaluable. They alert others when you’re in trouble and can help rescuers find you in poor weather and at night. The types vary, so always seek advice from a local boat chandler if in doubt.
Lifejackets are the most basic safety item. However, if a group intends to board your boat, confirm in advance that there’s a lifejacket of the right size for everyone. And don’t forget a canine lifejacket for any dog you take with you.
Safety on a boat is often a matter of common sense. Even so, run through a list such as the one given here to ensure that you’ve accounted for everything. You can then enjoy your boating to the full.