Get the most out of your boating experience by being prepared. Boating in Florida is more fun when you are ready for anything. We have a great selection of boat rental options in Palm Harbor and we want to make sure that everyone who rents from us has a great, but safe, time. Boat safety should always first and foremost when getting on board a boat. Below, you’ll find are some basic boat safety, as laid out by a professional. It is by no means an exhaustive list of boat safety advice, but sticking to this list should make for a fun and trouble-free day on the water.
Note: If you have any questions about out range boat rentals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Take a Boating Safety Class
Boating safety classes are usually required for an individual to operate a vessel. In fact, 70% of boating accidents are attributed to an operator error, so we can reduce this amount by taking official classes and learning the rules, laws, and tips that allow us to be safe on the water. You wouldn’t drive without a driver’s license!
Know Your Boat
Know how to manage your boat. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised… Be thoroughly familiar with navigation, boat safety, boat handling, boat equipment, line handling, anchoring, engine troubleshooting, and emergency response procedures. Take a little time to get to know your boat and your boat safety levels will increase.
Check the local weather forecasts and radar before departure. Always be aware of what is going on in the sky. If you notice darkening clouds, wind changes or other such weather indicators, start making your way back to shore.
Get a free Vessel Safety Check
The U.S. Coast Guard offers free safety checks for boats. They will inspect and examine the boat to make sure that all required safety gear and equipment is on board and up to date. There are often volunteers at local marinas offering safety inspections. You will receive a sticker to put on your boat. The sticker indicates that the boat is compliant with state and federal safety regulations.
Make a Float Plan and Follow it
A float plan is simply a recorded entry of your name, address, departure place and time, expected arrival and boat make and model, as well as any other pertinent information. Float plans are especially important if you’re going to be out on the water for an extended period of time. The information can be given to a friend, family member or someone at the marina. There are also many mobile apps available to make this a quick and easy process.
Wear a life jacket!
The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that life jackets could have saved over 80% of boating fatality victims. Although not required to be worn at all times, it is highly encouraged to keep yourself safe. It is required to have at least one life jacket for every person on board.
Get an EPIRB or PLB
Make sure to purchase, register, and have onboard your vessel an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). An EPIRB or PLB is used to alert search and rescue (SAR) agencies in the event of an emergency. It does this by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency via satellite and earth stations to the nearest Rescue Coordination Center, which then notifies rescue personnel. If your EPIRB transmits GPS coordinates, your position can be identified in as little as 2-3 minutes.
Save the alcohol for later
Just like driving a car, alcohol greatly affects response time and the ability to focus on what you’re doing. It’s also just as illegal. Wait until you’re docked up for the night before you enjoy a nightcap. Or leave the piloting up to your captain!
If you wish to ensure your safety while on a boat, it’s best to hire a professional captain. Or, if you would like to learn more or have the plan to go boating, please leave your inquiries or comments below.