Recreational boating can be a great time with friends and family that provide life-long memories. One mistake due to lack of knowledge or poor judgment can change all of that. For this reason, it is very important to know the safety rules involved in boating.
The best way to ensure boater safety is to become educated by taking a boater’s safety course. There are numerous organizations that offer courses, and the United States Coast Guard has a great website that lists many of them.
Courses can be taken both online and in person, whichever is most convenient for you.
Be Familiar With Your Boat
Go over all the features of your boat, the operating parameters, the safety features and even some of the mechanics of your boat. This will increase safety not only at dockside but also when underway.
Just like you wouldn’t want to become stranded or have a mechanical emergency in your land vehicle, you wouldn’t want that with your boat, either.
Many companies, including Imagine Marine Electronics, offer on-demand dockside service for your convenience.
Housekeeping on the Dock
Not only will proper dockside housekeeping keep you safe, but it will keep other boaters safe as well. You always want to make sure that your mooring is clean, uncluttered, and well maintained.
One of the most important housekeeping pointers is to ensure that your line is neatly coiled or flemished and out of the way.
Always know the rules of your marina regarding dockside safety and housekeeping.
Electrical safety is extremely important dockside because, as we all know, electricity and water do not mix well. You need to make sure that all your electrical cords and electrical components, onboard and dockside, are secured and in good repair.
If there are any issues, you can easily find a company to provide dockside marine services Be sure to never swim near the dock due to the possibility of electrical leakage.
Also, if you are in the water and feel a tingling sensation, be sure to get out of the water immediately using a non-metallic aide and notify the marina immediately.
Carbon Monoxide Safety
People wouldn’t normally think about carbon monoxide safety while outdoors, but it is a very real danger around boats. Idling boats emit quite a bit of CO2, so it is important to minimize time spent idling near the dock due to the number of boats in the area.
It is also important to know the symptoms of CO2 poisoning and to immediately get to fresh air if you feel these symptoms.
Finally, be sure to have a working marine carbon monoxide detector installed and have your exhaust system inspected regularly.
There are some general safety rules to follow, of course, before leaving the dock. Make sure that there are enough USCG-approved personal floatation devices available for everyone on board.
Always check the weather forecast before going underway and follow all boating restrictions set by the Coast Guard and other authorities.
File a float plan with, at a minimum, information about who is on board, where you are going, what route you’ll be taking, when you plan to leave and return and what you’ll be doing.
Leave this float plan with someone you know and trust to provide it to the authorities if you do not return when expected.