Boating Requirements to Assure Your Safety on the Water

Boating can bring many fun activities in the summer, but whether you’re fishing, tubing, sailing, or just floating, it is important to keep safety in the back of your mind. There are boating requirements and safety protocols that every operator and passenger should be aware of while on the water. Make sure to check them out before you leave the dock.

Boating Requirements, TJ Woods Insurance Agency, Worcester, MAKeep Your Eye on the Weather

Before you hit the open sea, make sure you know what the weather is going to be like. Bringing a radio on board with you can keep you up to date on the local conditions while you’re on the water. Storms are bad news for boaters, so keep an eye out for sudden drops in temperature, wind shifts, dark clouds, and choppy water. If you experience any of these conditions, it is best to get off of the water early to avoid being caught in a storm.

Have Life Jackets on Board

Wearing a life jacket on a boat should be seen as much as a necessity as wearing a seatbelt in a car. Although it’s not required, wearing a life jacket at all times while on a boat can help save a life. In case the boat is capsized, or someone is thrown off due to a collision, having a life jacket on will help keep their head above water so they’ll be able to breathe.

Life jackets come in all shapes, sizes, and colors to fit any boater. Each member on board should have their own life jacket that fits them properly. The jackets should be checked once a year for fit and buoyancy, and properly stowed so they can be accessed quickly.

Have a Float Plan

Having a plan before you leave the dock is important. A float plan should include where you are going and how long you plan to be gone for, as well as a list of passengers with you. Once you’ve developed a float plan, let someone on shore know what it is. Leave your name, address, phone number, boat type, itinerary, and types of communication with either a family member, neighbor, or someone in the marina.

Avoid Alcohol

Boating under the influence can be even more dangerous than drinking and driving. Boating conditions such as sun, wind, noise, glare, and vibrations accelerates a drinker’s impairments. Also, boaters often spend less time on the water than they do the highway, therefore they are less experienced operating a boat. A BUI is a serious offense, and can lead to large fines, revocation of operating privileges, and even jail time.

Have Boat Insurance

In case of an accident, you’ll want to make sure that your boat is covered under insurance. Some homeowners or auto insurance policies may provide limited protection, but separate personal watercraft policies could better protect you and you’re boat. Personal water craft policies can cover bodily injury, property damage, theft, guest passenger liability, and medical payments.

Following these boating requirements will help protect you and your passengers on your next boating trip. Having everything from life jackets to boat insurance will help ensure your safety on the water. If you have any question regarding a watercraft policy, please contact TJ Woods Insurance Agency. Our agents will help you decide which policy best covers all your boating needs.