When you own your first boat, you are going to be more excited about getting out on the water than you are about running through a checklist of safety items. This is one of the reasons many inexperienced boaters run into serious trouble miles away from the safety of the shore that could have been avoided with some careful planning. Before you untie the boat and sail off with family and friends, consider this safety checklist from Boatmo.com first.
Never leave the docks unless each and every person in the boat has their own life jacket. Since you are responsible for each person on your boat including yourself, if you don’t have enough life jackets, borrow what you need or buy more. This is not the area to be skimping.
Before you head out for the day you will have a pretty good idea where you will be heading. Leave this information behind with someone staying on shore because in the event you are not back or something happens by dark, the search crew will have an easier time narrowing down the search grid to find you.
Bring a fully charged cell phone and invest in a satellite phone too. When you drift too far from shore and the phones don’t have adequate service, you can rest assured knowing the satellite phone will be able to help you make a successful call. Even the most experienced boaters know things can go bad fast miles out to sea.
Check to see if your boat radio is working perfectly before you leave for the day. Many times this can be your only life line to help. A weather radio should be in top working condition too because many times dangerous storms pop up out of nowhere and you could be in serious trouble if you can not outrun the storm.
Just like when you are operating your motor vehicle on the highway, never mix driving and drinking alcohol. You can be pulled over while riding your boat just as easily as in a car, and the charges are just as serious. Don’t risk hitting another boat or a swimmer because you could not navigate the water effectively.
Keep the number of local fuel stations and a tow service with you on board at all times. It will be difficult searching for one when trouble hits.
This list is not that complicated and should not cause you to expend any more energy that you will preparing the boat otherwise for a day on the water.