Three Boating Safety Tips

Recreational boating is a pastime that people from all walks of life can enjoy. It provides a freedom that is unparalleled. You can leave all your cares on the dock, as you drift peacefully across the blue waters to whatever destination your heart desires. But as with all fun hobbies, safety comes first. Here are three boating tips to keep you safe while out on the water. 

1. Keep your safety equipment up-to-date

When setting sail for a trip, the last thing you want to think about is a potential emergency. But the unexpected may happen, and the best way to minimize the negative effects is by being prepared. According to Coast Guard regulations, all boats should be equipped with certain safety equipment. Here is a list: 

  • Map of the waters
  • A certificate number (state registration)
  • State numbering (no less than three inches high, in black/white)
  • Life jackets or personal flotation devices
  • Visual distress signals (electric distress light, flares, smoke signals, flags)
  • Fire extinguishers (fully operational, not expired)
  • A ventilation system
  • Sound producing devices (bell, whistle, or air horn)
  • A backfire flame arrestor
  • Navigation lights
  • Certified Marine sanitation device (on boats with toilets)
  • Communication device

2. Respect the weather

To stay safe on the water, it’s important to respect the weather. Before heading out, check the weather radio for short term forecasts that cover a period up to six hours to help you plan your day. Continue to check the broadcasts while out on the water to make sure no sudden changes have been reported, and watch the skies and water to observe changes in the atmosphere. Strong winds, lightning, rain, and rough water can mean trouble for unsuspecting boaters, and even thunderstorms can cause changes in the behavior of the water. So keep a close ear to the radio and eye on the water and be ready to return to land if necessary. 

3. File a float plan

A float plan is a document that details your expected destination and trip duration. It informs its readers of your boat’s guests and safety equipment, and gives a description of what your boat looks like. Your float plan should be given to a friend or family member who will stay still on land, and pass along the vital information it contains, in the unfortunate case that you don’t make it to your destination within an appropriate amount of time. If your designated informant doesn’t hear from you, per direction of your float plan, they can reach out to the Coast Guard for help.

Preparation is always your best defense. Check these three boating safety items off your to-do list before you leave the shore. By prioritizing your safety, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your time aboard the boat because you’ve already done the hard work behind the scenes. 

LeslieThree Boating Safety Tips
Read More

Ready To Go Boating? Ensure Safety With These Tips!

Boating is an undeniably fun and relaxing activity. Aside from that, this type of recreation gives multiple benefits to a person’s health and wellbeing. A research study done by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, said that boating can make you happier and healthier. Nichols’ research likewise said that boating promotes creativity and reduces stress.

With all the great perks that you can get from sailing on water, it is understandable if you eagerly set a schedule for a boating session right away. It would, however, be careless and unwise to head to the nearest lake, ocean or river without prioritizing safety. Boating may not sound as extreme as other water sports but you still have to exercise precautions in order to avoid any untoward incidents.

Safety Reminders For Boating

To ensure that you are not putting your life (and the life of your companions) at risk, you may want to ask yourself the following questions before going out to sail or boat:

Are you wearing a life-vest?

It is better to be safe than sorry, so do not belittle or ignore the importance of wearing a life jacket while sailing on water. Each person should be wearing a properly-fitted life-vest while on board. However, just wearing one is not enough. It pays to ensure that the life vests on your boat are the right size and pass the standards of the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The USCG has different requirements for various type of water activities and it would not hurt to check their rules before a boating session.

Are you sober?

Drinking while driving is against the law and you should apply the same principle to boating as well. If you intend to spend some time aboard a boat, it is best to ditch alcohol for the day. Do not carry any alcoholic beverages on the boat as well. This is especially because reports from the USCG said that a third of all deaths caused by boating involve alcohol. Another thing, you are in a better position to watch the waves and savor the ocean breeze if you are sober.

Do you have an emergency kit?

Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere. However, you can boat peacefully if you stock up on tools that can help you cope with any kind of mishap, even while you are in the middle of a lake. Your boat should have a handy first aid kit and a portable battery-operated radio. Among other things, you would also want to have a flashlight, fire extinguisher, and handyman tools on your boat.

Do you have a float plan?

A float plan is a form you can fill out before you set off on your voyage. It should contain essential information about the persons on the boat, details about your boat and the route you plan to take. The time you leave and expected time of return should also be indicated on the form. You leave this  document with a friend or relative (any person you trust) so you can be sure that someone will come looking for you if you don’t return. You can easily download float plan templates online.

Do you have carbon monoxide detectors?

According to a the 2017 report of Recreational Boating Statistics, carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common reason for sickness and fatality among boaters. It is very important to guarantee that your boat is

protected from carbon monoxide. This poisonous gas can emit from poorly installed boat engines, exhaust pipes and generators. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, it is wise to watch out for any leaks on boat parts that can emit the gas. Even if your boat is free of the poisonous gas, you are also in danger if you happen to dock near a vessel that emits carbon dioxide. Everyone on the boat should therefore be aware of the symptoms and warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. With early detection a remedy can be given right away.

Boating is a great way to enjoy nature. It can also soothe the senses and recharge your spirit. Maximize all the benefits you can have while boating by taking all necessary precautions before sailing.

Leslie WolgamottReady To Go Boating? Ensure Safety With These Tips!
Read More

4 Ways Boating is Good for Your Soul

Spending hours out on the water is arguably one of the most effective ways to feed the soul. Sitting on a boat, letting the waves rock you back and forth, and gazing out at the open water is no doubt one of the most breathtaking experiences we can have as explorers, and as humans. But, just how exactly does boating affect your soul? Why is the experience so relaxing and addicting?

Read on to discover four ways boating is good for your soul.

Boating removes you from reality and renews your mind

In a world full of busy work schedules, back-to-back meetings and appointments, buzzing cell phones, long commutes, and full calendars, it can be hard, or nearly impossible, to find a chance to relax and spend time doing something simply because you enjoy doing it. Boating invites you to embrace your adventures on the water with a clear mind and encourages you to enjoy your time alone or with others. It removes you from the reality and demands of your everyday life and forces you to solely focus on the here and now leaving you with a renewed spirit once you return to land.

Boating fosters bonds and relationships

Since the distractions of your everyday life are removed when you’re out on the water, building relationships and making lasting memories with family and friends is pretty much effortless. Whether you’re talking about everything that comes to mind or just watching the sunset in silence, boating trips create bonding experiences that you will remember for years to come.

Each time is a new learning experience

Each time you set sail and embark on a new adventure is a new opportunity to learn and master your boating skills. It’s important to maintain a teachable spirit on the water because each trip is unlike the last. You never know what will come your way. The more you work on your skills, the more confident you’ll be the next time you set out.

Boating expands your experience of the world

Boating provides you with a source of endless adventure because it takes you out to actually see the world and experience new places. But, it also does so much more for your soul than that. It is one of the most unique ways to expand your awareness of the world around you by removing yourself from the worries of reality.

Next time you get the opportunity to hit the water on a boat, make sure you relax, clear your mind and enjoy the beautiful scenery in front of you!

Leslie Wolgamott4 Ways Boating is Good for Your Soul
Read More

Top 3 Reasons to Fall in Love with Boating

Boating is about so much more than hitting the water in a buoyant vessel—it’s more than just water and waves meeting aluminum and fiberglass. Whether you’re powering through the surf in a roaring speedboat or soaking in all that nature has to offer you in a down-to-earth kayak, you’re bound to learn a thing or two about yourself.

And that’s just one of the many reasons to fall in love with boating.

Boating Allows You to Escape the Ordinary

There’s nothing ordinary about being able to defy gravity. When you’re floating out in the middle of the lake, you can escape reality—even if only for just a moment. There’s no other feeling quite like it; it’s like being able to fly.

Boating doesn’t have to try too hard to make you fall in love with it. Moments like that, where you could swear you were transcending time and space, they’re enough to convince you to keep coming back.

Boating is Good for Your Mind, Body, and Soul

It’s a well-known fact that vitamin D is a vital nutrient—and one that you get by going outside and soaking up the sun. Of course, you should always make sure you’ve slathered on at least SPF 30 before spending time in the sun. Still, the benefits of spending time outside are undeniable. Exercise in the form of canoeing, wakeboarding, or waterskiing combines a great workout with great fun, thereby feeding your body and your soul at once.

Boating also forces your mind to stretch to new proportions. To be a great sailor, you have to be able to calculate the speed and direction of the wind; to be a captain, you have to have your wits about you at all times.

If you’re a fan of self-improvement, then falling in love with boating should be a no-brainer.

Boating Strengthens Relationships and Fosters Fun

When you’re out on the water, there’s no need for social media; your social network is sitting all around you, strapped into life jackets. If you’ve been craving that connection with your kids or your spouse that you just can’t seem to find on land, try boating.

Fall in love with boating, and you’ll inevitably grow closer with your family. Boating is the ultimate family activity, and because you’re surrounded by water, feel free to banish technology to the shore.

It’s way more fun to live in the moment anyway!

Leslie WolgamottTop 3 Reasons to Fall in Love with Boating
Read More