Basic Boating Safety

Basic Boating Safety

Now that summer is on the horizon, boat owners everywhere are taking their crafts out of storage and loading them up to head to the water, whether it’s the lake, river, sound or even the open ocean. No matter where you’re going on your boat or what you’re doing, whether it’s relaxing, cruising, fishing or watersports, you should follow some basic safety practices out on the water to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. Master Marine is your local boat dealership, located in Mount Vernon, Washington, and we’ve got the lowdown on good boating safety practices so you and your family can have an enjoyable and pleasant day on the water.

Do The Prep Work

Before you head out, you should check the weather forecast for the area in which you intend to boat. If conditions look poor, particularly if storms are coming in, you may want to reschedule your trip for a nicer day. Give your boat a quick inspection to spot any damage or parts that may need replacing. If you need professional maintenance, schedule an appointment with Master Marine’s service department. Remember to inform someone on shore where you’ll be and how long you intend to stay out so they can let rescue crews know where to look for you should something go awry. Name an assistant skipper and educate them on your boat’s controls so they can take over and steer everyone to safety should you become unable to operate the boat.

Gather Equipment

There are several important pieces of safety equipment that every boat should carry. Firstly, there should be life jackets for everyone aboard. While on a larger craft, you might not wear these all the time, they’re essential on small boats and when using personal watercraft. Have a throwable life ring on board, too. Check that you have a first aid kit with all the essentials for basic ailments and injuries. You should also have a fire extinguisher, signals and flares, and a radio to call for help should your phone not have service. Your phone should be in a waterproof bag with enough air to allow it to float should it fall in the water. Make sure everyone on board knows where the safety equipment is and how to use it.

Follow Water Safety Guidelines

Finally, once you get out on the water, you should use common sense and obey applicable rules and regulations. Don’t drink or use recreational drugs before operating your boat, and check with your doctor if you have a health condition or take a medication that could interfere with your ability to operate heavy machinery. You want to have clarity and focus on the water, so be smart and keep yourself sober. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen if your boat doesn’t shield you from the sun or you’re out doing water sports. Steer clear of other water users and keep an eye out for swimmers in the water, whom you’ll want to give a wide berth. Pass other crafts to the right and be mindful of debris or obstacles in the water that you’ll want to plot a course around. If you’re boating at night, make sure you have lights on and remain particularly vigilant. Don’t stray too far from shore if you’re in a small craft that can’t handle the open water. Know your own limits and don’t attempt any risky maneuvers or venture out into rough waters.

If you’re in the market for a great boat, come down to our dealership to see the models we have in stock, both new and used. Master Marine serves the greater Seattle metro area, including Tacoma, Washington, with our convenient Mount Vernon location. We’re also here for our customers coming down from Alaska!