Safe Boating Techniques – Avoid Accidents and Sailing Towards Safety
Taking time to familiarize yourself with basic boating laws, local ordinances and safe seamanship practices can make all the difference between a fun day on the water and, well, a tragic accident. The law is not just there to make things easier for you. It is there to prevent tragic accidents from occurring.
Many states require that you take boating safety classes. You should check with your state boating safety program to find out what the requirements are. Most states have mandatory boating safety classes and you may have to take them as a condition of licensing or certification. If you choose not to take any boating safety classes, that’s your choice, but make sure that you do the best you can to learn basic techniques.
Everyone knows that life jackets save lives. But did you know that life vests don’t stop near the waterline? Not all life jackets are meant to stop near the water. Here’s why you should be taking every precaution with your boat and your passengers.
First, take the time to learn about boating safety courses. These can help you avoid accidents. Some states even require boaters to take one of these courses before they can operate their boats on the lake. If you’re not required to take the course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother.
Second, remember to always wear your life jackets. This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many boaters don’t wear their life jackets while out on the water. Many recreational boaters like the idea of riding out in open water, but they don’t want to be putting themselves at risk for drowning or getting into a collision with a passing vessel. Remembering to wear a life jacket can save lives and can go a long way toward helping you feel more secure while out on the lake.
Third, check your local rules and regulations. There may be some local laws or regulations specific to your state that you need to follow. If you have questions about what these laws say, talk to your local boating safety courses provider. They usually can provide you with information about local ordinances. Most providers also offer free consultation about any questions you might have about boating safety.
Fourth, take care of yourself. If you keep up with the maintenance and care of your boat, it will give you a longer life span. It will also help you avoid expensive repair bills. Many accidents occur at boaters’ docks when they are least prepared.
Finally, follow safe boating techniques. Avoid alcohol and drugs. Keep a proper working schedule and avoid speeding or sailing after dark. Follow all of these simple tips and you’ll enjoy a long and happy boating life.
One of the easiest and most effective safe boating techniques is keeping below the minimum speed limit for boats. Many boaters believe that a lower speed allows for better control. However, if your vessel is traveling too fast, it increases the chances of collision or accident. Keep your vessel below the posted speed limit. This not only reduces the chance of accident, but will also help you conserve fuel and money.
You should also avoid obstructing the visibility of your boat. If you are traveling at night or if you are traveling alone, you should always wear a bright headlamp and illuminate the area in front of you. Even if you see other boaters on the water, do not shine your brightly-lit boat light into their eyes. This can easily blind them and cause an accident.
Another safe boating technique is using the emergency flashing light on your boat. If something happens to your boat, this flashing light will alert other boaters and help them get out of the water safely. It is important to remember not to use the emergency lighting feature unless you absolutely need to. Try not to over-activate the light as this could cause an accident. Most boats come with the emergency light built in, so keep it in a safe place and recharge it when needed.
Some of the most dangerous boating practices include using navigation devices while sailing or driving. Some people will not think twice about using a handheld navigation device while driving down the road, but they tend not to think twice about what they are doing when sailing. This means that when you are on the water, it is vital that you stay within the lines of sight of the steering wheel as well as behind the main hull. Learning safe boating techniques will help keep you and your passengers safe.