Basic Boating Safety

Lund boat

Boat safety is incredibly important, especially when you bring along your friends and family. Small lapses in judgment can have major consequences if you don’t plan ahead. Since boats don’t have seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features like automobiles do, you could end up in hot water. Since we value the health and wellbeing of all of our customers, we here at Water Werks Marine Group compiled this short list of safety tips that we’ve found useful. Try some out for yourself and add them to your safety routine, or use it as a basic guide if you’re new to boating. If you’re looking for a new boat or simply need service and maintenance for your current one, give us a call. Located in Country Club Hills, Illinois, we proudly serve the areas of Chicago, and Waukegan, Illinois, as well as Gary, Michigan City, and Valparaiso, Indiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Proper Preparation

Preparation is key to boating safety. Before you head out, make sure to check the weather forecast for the day. Chances of wind, downpours, or major swells are good indication that it’s probably not a great day for boating. This is especially true if you’re going for recreational purposes. You should also take some time to think about where you’ll be boating to during the day. Sketch a rough itinerary of your plans and then pass that to someone on shore. That way, if an accident happens, the person on shore can get in touch with the proper authorities and they can start a search with a good idea of where you might have been when you went missing.

If you’re bringing passengers with you, make sure they are prepared with some basic boating safety practices. Make sure they sit down while the boat is moving, and always wear their life jackets. Make sure everyone is aware of what to do if someone goes overboard, and make sure they all know where appropriate safety equipment is such as fire extinguishers and life rings. If you are bringing the family dog along, make sure he has eaten, has plenty of water, and has relieved himself before getting on board.

Safety Equipment for Boating

A few pieces of basic safety equipment are absolutely crucial for every boating trip. The most obvious piece of safety equipment on a boat is a life jacket. Every person on the boat should have their own, and their life jacket should be fitted to their frame making sure that children actually have child-sized life jackets. You’ll also want at least one and possibly more fire extinguishers. One fire extinguisher for putting out electrical fires and one for putting out standard fires is a good place to start. A life ring with a rope back to the boat is extremely helpful. Don’t forget a small emergency preparedness kit, too. This should be stocked with an emergency radio, signal flares, a waterproof map of the area and compass, and space blankets. A swimmer in the water flag is extremely important, especially on rivers and lakes where space is more limited. While you might not think of it this way, bringing plenty of water is its own form of safety technique.

Keeping Safe on the Water

Once you get on the water, it’s time to put safety practice together with safety preparation. Leave the alcohol on the shore, and always boat sober. Try to only drive the boat within your skills and abilities as a pilot. Follow all local regulations for boating, including speed and wake limits. Be courteous to other boaters and give them plenty of room when passing. Most of this can be lumped under the basic heading of “common sense,” but common sense isn’t always that common, and as soon as you stop being vigilant with its implementation, it’s the mistakes that will be more common.

Boating is lots of fun and a great activity for the whole family, but it’s important to take boating safety seriously. If you need maintenance for your boat to keep it in top boating form, stop by Water Werks Marine Group in Country Club Hills, Illinois. We serve the areas of Chicago and Waukegan, Illinois, as well as Gary, Michigan City, and Valparaiso, Indiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Stop by today!