Boating Safety Tips - #1 Boating Information Series

by Veronica Jeans October 13, 2017


Safety Tips for all Boaters

Whether you are sailing or motor boating, all safety is the same. 

Planning Ahead to Sail Safely

Whether you are a novice or experienced sailor, careful planning never goes amiss. Before heading to the water, be sure to:

  • Obtain local charts of the area in which you will be boating. Study them, and plot your course ahead of time.
  • Look up weather and condition forecasts. This will help you decide what days (and even what time of day) will be best for sailing, and will also inform you of what kind of attire and gear you will need to bring along.
  • Brush up on the “rules of the road,” and familiarize yourself with local boating rules and zones.
  • Create a float plan, which consists of names and contact information for all aboard, the trip itinerary, details about the boat (type, description, registration information), and types of signal and communication equipment onboard — including boat phone, radios, EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) and PLBs (Personal Locating Beacons). Leave this detailed information with someone on land.
  • Take advantage of a free vessel safety check through the Coast Guard to put your mind at ease and help ensure safe passage for you and your passengers.

More information on

Safety for your Onboard Pets 

We’ve all seen those dogs standing in the bow of boats with their ears blowing in the wind as they try to catch the spray in their face—it looks cute, right? Most of our four-legged friends naturally position themselves up in the boat to better enjoy the experience. As pet moms and dads, we just need to remember that if we’re operating our boats in choppy water your dog could be propelled overboard very easily.

Read more 13 Tips about Safety for your Pets

Coast Guard Approved Extinguishers

Coast Guard approved extinguishers required for boats are hand portable, either B-I or B-II classification and have a specific marine type-mounting bracket. Look for the part of the label that says "Marine Type USCG". It is recommended the extinguishers be mounted in a readily accessible position, away from the areas where a fire could likely start, such as the galley or the engine compartment.

Portable fire extinguishers are also a maintenance item. You may walk by that extinguisher in the passageway 50 times a day and feel like you're prepared for the worst every time you see that little bright red cylinder. But just because it's there and painted red doesn't mean it is going to work. All portable extinguishers should be checked monthly for indication of proper pressure as well as for signs of physical damage, corrosion, leakage or clogged nozzles. It is strongly recommended that a monthly log is kept noting the age and condition of each portable fire extinguisher. Yearly inspections should be made by a professional to determine the health of portable fire extinguishers. The worst time to discover you're extinguisher is a dud is right after you pull the pin and try to put out a fire.

Read More Coast Guard Approved Extinguishers

Next: Small Boat Motor Maintenance

Resources: YouTube Channel Take Me Fishing

Veronica Jeans
Veronica Jeans


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