Please select your home edition
Edition
Nebo 728x90 2

Three easy, no-cost ways to be safer on the water

by Scott Croft 15 May 19:28 UTC
The BoatUS Foundation recommends getting a free vessel safety check to start the boating season right. © U.S. Coast Guard

With the start of boating season and next week's National Safe Boating Week, May 19–25, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water has three tips to get boaters thinking about safety aboard any type of boat.

1. Open up your boat for a vessel safety check: You may think getting a vessel safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons can open yourself to problems. However, a no-risk, free vessel safety check does the opposite. It points out both the required and recommended items to have aboard, such as fire extinguishers, life jackets, distress signals, first-aid kits, and engine spark arrestors, and also helps provide a better understanding on the care and use of this critical equipment. Checks are done as a courtesy with no risk to the boater, so you won't be in trouble if discrepancies are found. Go to bit.ly/1syhbDA to request a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary safety check or bit.ly/2I2uc8w for a U.S. Power Squadrons safety check.

2. Believe the numbers – take a safety course: Statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety show that only 13 percent of all boating deaths in 2016 occurred on vessels where the operator had taken a nationally approved boating safety education course. So take this number to heart – taking a boating safety course improves safety. The BoatUS Foundation offers free online boating safety courses that meet the education requirements in 36 states and also may earn you a boat insurance discount. Go to BoatUS.org/Free.

3. Give a safety talk before you head out: Taking out guests is half the fun of boating, but before you head out give a little talk about how to stay safe aboard your boat. Some important things to include may be how to distribute weight in a small boat, how to hold on when crossing a wake, how a tuber or water skier should safely reboard after being towed, how the VHF radio works and the location of important safety equipment. Also, give everyone a life jacket to wear or keep in his or her immediate vicinity. If you don't have a right-sized life jacket for a youngster, borrow one for free at more than 550 locations nationwide from the BoatUS Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program at BoatUS.org/Life-Jacket-Loaner.

Related Articles

America's Water Infrastructure Act passes senate
Boaters stand to gain with president's signing With passage yesterday of infrastructure legislation by the U.S. Senate, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill is on its way to the president's desk. Posted on 12 Oct
BoatUS reacts negatively to sale of E15 year-round
E15 is prohibited by federal law for use in recreational boat engines At the core of the issue is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). When it was passed in 2005, RFS assumed that America's use of gasoline would continue to grow. Posted on 11 Oct
Poised for passage; boaters stand to gain
Bill includes focus on water-quality improvements A safe place to hide from a storm. Better navigation. Cleaner waters. Ensuring that boaters matter when it comes to getting their fair share of federal funding. Posted on 9 Oct
Tips for storing boats over winter from BoatUS
Take special precautions with storage of E10 Putting your boat away for the winter soon? The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) says recreational boat owners need to take special precautions with storage of E10 (10 percent ethanol) gas, and review their insurance policy Posted on 28 Sep
Powerboat Handling Courses at US Powerboat Show
Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with the United States Powerboat Show, Freedom Boat Club and West Marine are offering three affordable on-water boat training courses for everyone in the family during the show Posted on 22 Sep
How to recover your boat after a hurricane
BoatUS Catastrophe Team salvage operations begun With the remnants of Hurricane Florence now on the way out to sea and high waters still posing a threat in some regions, boat owners are starting recovery efforts. Posted on 22 Sep
Numbers are in: Boating is big for U.S. Economy
In a data-driven world, knowing your "numbers" is a crucial part of achieving success In the halls of power of Washington, D.C., and 50 state capitals, credible data carries extra weight when it comes to advancing policies and laws that benefit recreational boaters. Posted on 20 Sep
Summer Fueling Survey shows boaters' challenges
No love for the corn-ethanol mandate: 83 percent would choose E0 if available A survey of recreational boaters' experience with refueling their vessels this past summer shows little love for corn-ethanol fuel blends mandated by the federal government's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Posted on 20 Sep
Boaters need to prepare for Hurricane Florence
BoatUS has App to track storm; offers online guides for protecting boats, marinas The first major hurricane to strike the U.S. in 2018, Hurricane Florence, is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas potentially as a Category 4 storm later this week. Posted on 11 Sep
On-Water Powerboat Handling Courses on Deck
Affordable 'Intro to Boating' course lets you experience recreational boating Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? A partnership between the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, Fleet Boat Club and West Marine will bring an affordable on-water boat training course Posted on 8 Sep
Multihull Central Aquila 36 FOOTERMarina Exchange FOOTER 1Raymarine AUS 2018 Aug - Axiom - Footer