Boating Safety: Important Steps New Boat Owners Should Know

Buying a boat is exhilarating, but many are unsure of exactly what they should expect. In addition to hauling the boat, or finding a place to dock it, there are a wide variety of safety tips that everyone should understand. Here is a checklist of guidelines every new boater should keep in mind before they ever get their boat into the water.

Boating Safety Courses   

Recent studies by the Coast Guard show that 86 percent of all boating accidents happen to boaters that have not taken a boating safety course. These courses are typically offered by a variety of organizations and will help the pilot learn all of the most important safety steps on their boat ranging from proper flag usage, to ferrying. Be sure to get all the documentation and licensing done well before hitting the water. It also never hurts to get insurance quotes from Ontario to be sure you aren't overpaying for registration or insurance.

Checking the Weather

Few boaters actually take a close look at what weather they can expect on their trip. Many tend to see that it will be warm, or the sun will be out, and fail to look at other signs that boating could be dangerous. High winds are especially common on larger lakes and could lead to major accidents if not taken into consideration.

Make Life Jackets Mandatory

It is important for every single boat owner to thoroughly insure their vehicle and their passengers, but making life jackets absolutely mandatory is a great way to prevent many of the most common accidents and injuries before they take place. While not every single passenger is required to wear a life jacket by law, making this a general rule can help a boater avoid injuries.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Even boating enthusiasts that utilize the services of a dedicated mechanic should still know the ins and outs of their boat, especially when it comes to safety features. This includes many of the emergency features of their boat,such as using the bilge pump, and understanding how to detect when gas vapors and leaks.

Filing a Float Plan

According to the Cowan insurance group, filing a float plan is one of the easiest ways to add an extra layer of security when taking a boating trip. A float plan is nothing more than a list of when the boat is shoving off, where they plan to go, and when they will return. This plan can then be given to family and friends beforehand so they can notify authorities if something goes wrong.

Boating is a popular and exciting pastime, but it also comes with quite a few unique risks. Taking the time to understand basic boat safety will ensure that new boat owners will enjoy their watercraft for years to come.

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