For the Beginner Boater
There is a lot of information you should know before piloting a boat for the first time. Consider taking a boating safety class. You can find one through the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary’s (USCGA) website. This will help make you a safer and more competent boat operator before you take to the water.
For All Boaters
Always make sure that your boat is stocked with appropriate safety materials. Also, go over a checklist of materials and supplies you’ll want on board before you depart.
Never Go Without Lifejackets
When it comes to the safety of the crew and passengers of a boat, there is no more important tool than a lifejacket. Wearing a properly fitted lifejacket can be the difference between a harmless fall in the water and a crisis. If you’re unsure or haven’t done it before, learn how to choose and fit your lifejacket with this two-minute YouTube video.
Bring An Appropriate Fire Extinguisher
Being on the water doesn’t mean a fire can’t occur. As of April 22, 2022, there are new federal guidelines for all recreational boats. You can view these guidelines here.
Review a Pre-Departure Checklist
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has a highly detailed informational brochure available for free online at this link. It covers the types of safety equipment needed as well as how to utilize it effectively. Making yourself familiar with its contents will answer any questions you may have about how to keep you and your passengers safe on the water.
Schedule a Free Vessel Safety Check
There are state and federal requirements for boating safety. The USCGA also offers free vessel safety checks which you can schedule here.
Keep Safety First and Happiness Will Follow
Regardless of your experience level, there are important safety measures that should be frequently re-checked for compliance with federal and state regulations. Even if you’re a seasoned boat operator, regular safety re-training can go a long way in helping make you a more skilled boater.
We hope these resources serve you well during this and all future boating seasons. Enjoy the water.