Please select your home edition
Edition
Nanni Diesel 2019 Leaderboard

The most practical boating safety advice you’ll get this year: 3 tips for National Safe Boating Week

by Scott Croft 14 May 17:29 UTC 18-24 May 2019
More paddlers on the water means everyone needs to step up their safety this boating season © Scott Croft

Wearing a life jacket, avoiding alcohol, and taking a boating safety course tops the list of things you can do now to improve your chances of a long, safe summer of boating.

For this year's National Safe Boating Week (May 18-24) here's three timely safety tips from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water.

    1. Be on the lookout for small craft: The U.S. Coast Guard reports that operator inattention and improper lookout are at the top of the list for contributing factors to accidents. Combined with the increasing popularity of paddlecraft such as kayaks and standup paddleboards, boaters should slow down in areas where paddlers congregate. Be mindful of your wake. Consider learning the S.C.A.N. (Search, Concentrate, Analyze, and Negotiate) method to help you safely navigate around paddlers and other traffic on the water. Accept and understand that some paddlers may not understand the rules of the road or all of the safety risks inherent to small-craft operation. Some boaters are guilty of this as well.

    2. Avoid ship traffic: With the U.S. economy strong, there may be more commercial ship traffic on coastlines, harbors, and rivers than we've seen in recent years. Ships can be deceptively fast, and recreational vessels attempting to cross in front of moving vessels can disappear under a ship's bow (video below) and out of the captain's line of sight, greatly decreasing safety for all aboard and potentially creating a very scary situation. For more information on safe boat operation around ships, go to BoatUS.org/RulesOfTheRoad.

    3. Beware of the spring season of rain: According to NOAA, nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding through May. Snowmelt and heavy rain have brought trees, flotsam and jetsam downstream where they can collide with boats and create additional safety challenges with the increased current. A boater's best bet is to slow down, watch your speed (especially running down current), keep an extra lookout, and hope the sun comes out soon!

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water offers a range of online and on-water boating safety training courses including 36 free state courses that can be found at BoatUS.org/Courses.

Related Articles

BoatUS checklist: How to rent your boat
Know your liabilities, and plan for breakdowns Airbnb has shown that the sharing economy can work. A new report says, in 2018, the peer-to-peer rental company's annual sales surpassed Hilton, based on data from U.S. travelers (excluding business spending). Posted on 22 May
Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1
4 tips to ready your boat When a hurricane approaches, recreational boat owners have a big problem. Faced with limited time to protect their homes, and with families to possibly evacuate, what can they do to prepare their boats? Posted on 21 May
On-water towing service grows on the bay
Third port for TowBoatUS San Francisco Bay and Delta A 29-year-old family-owned business that helps boaters get safely home after their boat has broken down, run aground, or run out of fuel, has added a third location to the company's waterborne footprint. Posted on 20 May
Affordable 3-hour on-water training courses
On Irondequoit Bay at Fleet Boat Club 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 Fleet Boat Club offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses Posted on 18 May
New TowBoatUS LaBelle Port opens to assist boaters
For boaters crossing Florida, TowBoatUS has you covered Most boats crossing the state of Florida on the Okeechobee Waterway are transient, only trying to get from one coast to the other as quickly as possible. Posted on 11 May
Want to learn how to boat?
Intro to boating and women making waves offered on Lake Michigan 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 Freedom Boat Club Chicago offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses Posted on 11 May
TowBoatus Crisfield, Maryland, opens
TowBoatUS Crisfield provides 24-hour assistance for boats with routine breakdowns Visitors to Crisfield, Maryland, soon learn that The Old Line State's southernmost town has long tied its fortunes to Chesapeake Bay – much of the town was built atop discarded oyster shells. Posted on 10 May
24-hour assistance to Logan Martin Lake boaters
To meet the growing needs of the local boating community Capt. Chad Gilliland and his wife Danah, owners of TowBoatUS Lake Martin, have now added a second location, TowBoatUS Logan Martin Lake, to meet the growing needs of the local boating community just in time for the summer boating season. Posted on 8 May
It's boat buying season
Can boaters avoid paying sales tax? Boaters who've heard about no-sales-tax states, such as Delaware or Oregon, wonder if they could eliminate sales tax on a boat purchase if they simply buy a boat there. Posted on 30 Apr
2019 Safe Boating Expo
Boaters urged to drop off expired marine flares Boating safety and family fun come together at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 14th annual Safe Boating Expo on Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 4201 South Victoria Ave., Oxnard. Posted on 27 Apr
GJW Direct - Motor Cruiser 2019 - FooterBandG AUS Zeus3 FOOTERMarina Exchange FOOTER 1