Head out on open spring waters safely this season.
After a long winter, it’s only natural to start thinking about prepping your boat for the warmer waters. But before you gear up for spring sailing, there are some essential steps that keep you safe on the water. Be sure that you and your passengers follow these safe boating tips and practices when heading out this season!
De-winterize. Before you sail off, it’s important to make sure that your boat is ready for the water. Check everything from the fuel levels, the engine, lights, the radio, electrical items, and the safety kit and life jackets. Share your float plan with someone that you know, so that he or she is aware of your destination and expected time of return. Furthermore, have an emergency evacuation plan in place and go over it with your passengers.
Don’t allow the warm weather to let your guard down. The air temperatures may be downright balmy, but the waters are deceptively cold. Always wear the right attire, bring extra layers or a change of clothes with you, as well as rain gear, as spring showers are not uncommon throughout the day. Remember that there may be fewer boats out on the water that can come to your aid, so take safety seriously.
Check the weather. Before heading out, always check the local weather, sea reports, and boating forecasts. Getting stuck in a storm is not your ideal way to spend a Sunday afternoon! As the operator of the boat, you have a responsibility to pay attention to the weather. If it looks like rain and wind, skip the trip until better weather presents itself.
Refresh your memory. Take a boating safety course now from the comfort of your own home. Ensure that you know the safe practices, emergency procedures, and what not to do in incidents.
Review your insurance. Just like your vehicle and home, your boat should have a boat insurance policy. Review the coverage and limits stated in your policy, and talk to your insurer about any incidents and items that may not be included in coverage.