Boating Safety in the Fall

Life Jacket. Image Source: Life Jackets and Vests Blog.

Boating is a wonderful, satisfying hobby, but people often forget that it can be a huge responsibility. Now that fall is here, many boaters are trying to make the most what’s left of the boating season before the cold weather hits. That doesn’t mean that caution should be thrown to the wind; the best way to ensure the safety of a boat’s captain (and its passengers) is by exercising caution when out on the water.

First and foremost, always keep the environment in mind. If you’re looking for tips to reduce waste when out on your boat, check out the Clean Boating Program. This initiative is designed to protect the environment and its website offers many great tips and earth-friendly products to keep in mind.  There is an environmentally-friendly alternative to nearly every aspect of boating, from cleaning the vessel to maintaining fuel and bilge.

Click here to read more about eco-friendly boating solutions.

Make sure that boating equipment is in working order before taking a trip (pay special attention to the boat’s engine, propellers, lights and other key components), and never set sail with a captain who does not know how to properly operate their boat or boating equipment.  Avoid setting sail on overly windy or stormy days, and never, ever operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.

It’s normal for government bodies to legislate some degree of boat safety.  In Canada, for example, a sail boat must be equipped with a sound-signaling device and a watertight flashlight.  Life jackets and fire extinguishers are other common requirements.  There is, however, much more that can be done to keep boating excursions safe. Talk to a professional about what you can do to ensure a safe ride for your boaters.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommends keeping light flares on board as well as a fire extinguisher, and stresses the importance of learning to properly use an anchor.

Remember: A happy boater is a cautious boater.  Here’s to safe and fun-filled travels for many years to come!

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