Great Boat Safety Tips For Anyone Looking To Take A Day Out At Sea

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, boating fatalities nationwide totaled to 658 in 2017. That’s a 6.1% decrease from the previous year.

Recreational boating injuries decreased by 9.4% as well.

Despite these improvements, new boaters still need to remain aware. Otherwise, someone might fall overboard or receive an injury.

Here are the top boat safety tips you should know before a day out at sea. In addition to learning these tips yourself, make sure your friends and family understand them as well.

Then, you and your crew can have a fun day on the water.

Make it a safe journey with these seven tips for proper boat safety.

1. Don’t Drink & Steer

The first step to a safe day on the water is to make sure you don’t drink and steer. Like drinking and driving a car, drinking and boating is dangerous for the driver and any passengers. In fact, drinking and boating can lead to serious legal consequences as well.

Many of the boating-related fatalities that occur are a result of drinking and boating.

Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is illegal in all 50 states. Known as a BUI, it’s also considered a federal crime. Most states consider a .08% blood alcohol level acceptable while operating a boat.

That’s the same blood alcohol level for driving under the influence (DUI).

Most women will reach this blood alcohol level after two drinks. Most men will reach it after five. However, you might reach this level sooner if:

  • You haven’t eaten much that day
  • You’re taking certain medications
  • Your metabolism doesn’t process alcohol quickly
  • You’re dehydrated

Instead of risking it, don’t get behind the wheel of any vehicle while under the influence.

Penalties for boating under the influence include:

  • A large fine
  • Loss of boating privileges
  • Jail time
  • Financial restitution for any damages of injuries
  • Felony conviction
  • Completion of an alcohol or boating safety course

Drinking while under the influence will impair your cognitive abilities and judgment. It’s just as dangerous on the water as it is on the road. If you’re steering the ship, set the beer aside.

2. Safety First

It’s estimated that life jackets have saved over 80% of boating fatality victims. One of the top boat safety tips to remain aware of is always wear a life jacket.

Some states only require you to keep a life jacket accessible. However, if an accident does occur, you likely won’t have time to put a life jacket on. Instead, purchase modern life jackets for your passengers and keep them on at all times.

Modern life jackets are compact, thin, and flexible, making them more comfortable.

If you have any children on board, make sure they’re wearing specially-sized jackets. These jackets are appropriate for their weight range. They’ll fit properly without allowing them to slip through.

An adult-sized life jacket won’t work for a child.

Before you go out to sea, make sure to test your child’s life jacket to ensure is works properly. This will also give your child the chance to adapt to wearing one.

3. Preparation is Key

The total cost of damages caused by boating accidents amounted to $46 million in 2017. You can avoid paying damages by preparing ahead of time.

Before you decide to own a boat, use these boat safety tips:

  • Understand the specific boating laws in your state
  • Have a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary perform a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) on your boat
  • Have a float plan, which includes where you’re going and when you intend to return
  • Perform a pre-boarding boat safety check

You should email your float plan to a friend or family member who isn’t going boating with you. That way, they can start a search and rescue in case something goes wrong.

During your pre-boarding boat safety check, make sure you have a full tank of gas. You’ll also want to check the:

  • Engine oil levels
  • Transmission fluid levels
  • Battery charge
  • Full fluid levels

After refueling, make sure you don’t smell fumes after running the blower.

Have your operator’s certificate, license, or any other registration for your boat on board, just in case. Now you’re prepared for anything.

4. Watching the Weather

Before you leave the dock, make sure to check the local weather and the weather for your destination. Remember, the weather can change rapidly. Bring a radio for you to keep track of weather changes while you’re on the water.

5. Practice Propeller Safety

Before you leave, practice proper propeller safety with your passengers.

First, make sure everyone is accounted for on the boat. Walk around the boat to ensure no one is in the water. You don’t want to start the engine if anyone went overboard.

Let your passengers know where the propellers are located, and that they’re dangerous.

Place any children onboard away from the propellers.

If someone does fall overboard, stop the boat immediately. Shut off the engine if you’re approaching anyone in the water as well.

6. Remain Mindful of Others

You’re not the only one out at sea. In order to maintain proper boat safety, it’s important to remain mindful of any boaters or swimmers on the water. Keep a safe distance when you can.

Following any directions or signs you see. Make sure to follow the rules that are listed by the local authorities as well.

When you’re near any boats, the shore, or swimmers, keep your wake low.

7. Overboard Emergencies

It’s important to know what to do if someone goes overboard. Here are our boat safety tips for such an emergency:

  • Turn off the motor and propellers
  • If everyone has gone overboard while the propellers are active, get everyone away from the boat
  • Remain calm
  • Use your life jacket to float without exerting too much energy
  • Make sure everyone is safe
  • If you don’t have a life jacket, look for another floatation device

Then, try to get everyone to float back to safety.

Preparing for a Day at Sea: The 7 Boat Safety Tips You Need

Ready for a day out at sea? With these seven boat safety tips, you’re nearly ready. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen while enjoying that Florida sun.

Need a place to dock? Contact us for a free quote!

Taking A Look At The Top Fishing Spots Around The World

A true fisherman is always looking for a bigger, better catch, but there’s only so much you can accomplish in your local lakes and streams. If the local lakes aren’t doing it for you anymore, try out some of the top fishing spots in the world. You won’t regret it when you come out with the biggest fish you’ve ever seen!

Nova Scotia, Canada

If you’re looking for a chance at some big hauls, Nova Scotia has plenty of fish for you. Nova Scotia is the home of some absolutely huge bluefin tuna, including the world-record bluefin, weighing in at 1,496-lbs! That’s no fluke either; there have been plenty more 1,000-lb bluefin caught here over the years.

You’re going to need a sturdy rod, and you’re going to need to put up a fight against a fish that big, but if you’re up for it and you get the chance it’s a hard trip for any fisherman to pass up.

Among other available fish in Nova Scotia are rainbow and lake trout, Atlantic salmon, and various types of perch.

Key West, Florida

Few are more obsessed with fishing than the people of Key West, Florida. The fishing is year-round here thanks to the climate, and the fish are plentiful, from mahi-mahi to tarpon and groupers. Among the species you’ll be able to catch are the Amberjack, Black Grouper, Bluefin Tuna, and Cobia, all of which can reach massive sizes and put up a good fight for the experienced fisherman.

There are plenty of seafood restaurants in Key West, too, serving up locally caught fish. This means you can enjoy not only the fishing but the eating as well. Sounds like a pretty great vacation!

Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia offers top-tier fishing and a chance at the giant black marlin, a fish that many who enjoy the sport only dream of catching on their hook. The giant black marlin swims at a top speed of 130 km/h and weighs up to 1,600 lbs making for a very impressive catch. Who can resist giving that a go?

Australia is full of diverse fish species and locations. Whether you’re looking to do some reef fishing, lake fishing, or fly fishing, it’s all available to you. Beyond the legendary giant black marlin, you’ll also have a chance to catch mangrove red snappers, coral trout, barracuda, and flatheads.

Head down to Australia between September and December for the best chances, when the water is nice and warm.

The Southern US (Georgia, Alabama, etc.)

The south may not be the first spot you think of when you think about fishing, but it should definitely be on your mind. Not only are there a lot of fish available in the south, but a lot of different ways to catch these fish, including the unforgettable experience of noodling!

Noodling, otherwise known as “hillbilly handfishing” is exactly what it sounds like. Get on your rubber boots, get in the water, and grab for those catfish. You’ll have a chance at some massive catfish going noodling in the south, and catfish tend to make for a very tasty meal.

Belize

If you want high chances of pulling a trophy fish, look no further than the gorgeous waters of Belize. The 200-mile long Belize Barrier reef makes the country a top spot for big, beautiful fish along with top-notch scenery. Not only will you see a lot of smaller fish and crustaceans, but some truly astounding trophy-size catches.

A few species are catch-and-release only, like Bonefish, but there are plenty more that you can keep and enjoy with some lemon and garlic. From blue and white marlin, to tuna, sailfish and King Mackerels, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to catch a trophy-size fish in Belize. Rent a nice boat and get out on those toasty Belize waters, you won’t regret it.

Kola Peninsula, Russia

Springtime in Russia is fishing season and offers one of the most unique fishing experiences on earth. Fishermen from all around the world travel to Russia’s Umba River in the spring to witness and catch some of the biggest Atlantic salmon the waters have to offer. It’s not the easiest to navigate location, and you may run into a bear or two, but if you’re up for the challenge you’re in for an unforgettable fishing experience.

Amazon Basin, Brazil

Ever thought about fishing for piranha? Take a trip to Brazil and you can make that thought a reality. You can even eat them in some places in Brazil, a nice little piece of revenge for all the fingers bitten by the species over the years.

Piranha are very common in the Amazon River, and while they’re not the biggest fish, catching one is certainly a unique experience. You’ll need to use meat for bait and a strong lure and wire to avoid having the fish bite right through your equipment. These things have some seriously sharp teeth.

There is a lot of fish in the Amazon Basin, including Arapaima, Candiru, and armored catfish. You’re sure to see some interesting and new species fishing in Brazil.

Visit One of the Top Fishing Spots Today

Whether you’re a novice or experienced fisher, you’re going to thank yourself for broadening your horizons and fishing in one of the top fishing spots listed above. Not only will you have a shot at some truly unique fish to show off to your friends, but you’ll make an absolutely unforgettable memory in the process. Don’t sleep on these spots; make the trip today and don’t look back!

And if you need a boat for all that fishing you love, check out our products page for more information. Feel free to contact us with and questions, comments or concerns.