Boating Safety Tips

The summertime is a great time to enjoy the water, but it’s important to remember the basics of boating safety. Here are a few tips to help you have a safe outing:

  • Developing boating skills requires a strong focus on safety. The majority of boating accidents are caused by captains who haven’t taken boating courses. Boating safety courses will teach you all aspects of boating safety for you, your passengers, and other boaters at all times.
  • Boating instruction entails much more than just showing you how to operate a boat. It also encompasses boating safety along with boat and engine maintenance.
  • Always know the safest distance to keep away from other boats. If someone is going slower than you are and want to pass them, know how to safely and with the proper signaling. Boats don’t have turn signals, but you should know how to alert the other boater you will be passing them.

  • If you notice sudden wind changes, dark skies, lightning, or choppy water, get out of the water as soon as possible.

  • When you launch your boat, you need to know how to do it quickly and safely. Boat security must be in place before you even put your boat in the water. Knowing how to do it right can make the difference between friendly boating and hostile boating.
  • If alcohol is part of your boating experience, be aware of what alcohol can do to your body when operating a fast-moving vehicle on water. Above all, the captain’s alcohol consumption must be moderate. Most boating accidents that occur today can be directly attributed to alcohol as a contributing factor. Be smart when it comes to drinking alcohol in water.
  • Make sure everyone aboard your boat has access to a life jacket. Never leave a child on the boat without always wearing a life jacket. The leading cause of death in the water is drowning. This is because people without life jackets fall into the sea. This is the most important nautical safety rule underlined by all instructors..
  • Life Jackets – You need to have a US Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board.
  • Watch out for bad weather signs and listen to weather radio broadcasts on your VHF radio.
  • Safe boating depends on respecting the general rules of etiquette on the water. Although you can’t control what other boaters do, you can certainly control what you do. Always be polite on the water and know that you are doing your part to keep the waters safe.
  • Check the lighting on the boat as navigation lights are essential for safe navigation.

  • Operate at a safe speed at all times (especially in congested areas), stay alert and stay clear of large ships and boats that may be limited in their ability to stop or tack.
  • Contact the US Coast Guard for some great boating safety tips. USCG-approved courses are offered nationwide. They take boat safety very seriously, which is why a boat safety course from the USCG will give you all the information you need..