A recreational boat can be a great way to bond with family and friends. You want your guests to have a memorable time, so it’s important to be conscientious of everyone’s safety before and during your excursion. Here are some tips to help you be prepared.
Before You Leave
There are several things that you should do before even boarding your boat. Check the weather so that you aren’t taken by surprise, communicate your float plan to the individual you’ll follow up with upon returning, and make sure all of your safety equipment is in working order and in a place where it can be accessed easily. It’s also useful to know how to swim and take a boating safety course so that you know the ins-and-outs of operating your vessel. You can even have the Coast Guard do a vessel safety check. They also offer free brochures with checklists that you can use to ensure that you won’t forget anything.
While many people consider it acceptable to consume alcohol while boating, it’s actually an inadvisable practice. As the helmsman, you obviously don’t want to be impaired so that you can focus on navigation, but your passengers should avoid drinking as well. Many boating accidents are due to passengers falling overboard, which is much more likely to happen if they’re drinking. Alcohol, combined with sun and wind, results in a higher likelihood of intoxication so it’s best to save it for when you get to shore.
Distracted boating is just as dangerous as distracted driving. Like on the roadway, there are other people, animals, warning signs, and so on. If you don’t pay attention, you may not notice these things and can end up in an unsafe situation.
Inform Your Passengers
Having all of this knowledge yourself is important, but it’s just as vital to make sure that your passengers understand the rules of safe boating. Don’t worry that you’re putting a damper on the fun with all your rules and talk of safety. At the end of the day, a boating accident will ruin everyone’s good time, so it’s better to take the time upfront to avoid any mishaps.
By being prepared you can do your best to avoid an incident, but sometimes accidents happen. In these cases, you’ll want the peace of mind that comes from having the appropriate recreational boat insurance to protect your passengers and cover you financially.
At Flagler County Insurance Agency, we offer a wide variety of insurances that will meet all your needs. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you plan for the worst while hoping for the best.