3 Tips For Safe Boating This Summer

There’s nothing better than a beautiful day spent out on a boat. Whether you go with family or friends, it’s a great way to connect with the people you care about and enjoy a day in the sun. Although there is a lot of fun to be had out on the water, there are also some safety precautions that should be taken into consideration. Here are 3 tips for safe boating this summer.

Prepare A Boat Safety Kit

There’s virtually no way to know when an emergency situation will arise. This is especially true out on the water. That being said, it’s important to be prepared for any situation. Keep a boat safety kit on board at all times. Here are a few things you should pack into your kit:

  • A Flashlight and Extra Batteries: This can help you see around your boat in the dark and help you to be seen in case of emergency.
  • Duct Tape: You can temporarily bandage a hole with duct tape.
  • First Aid Kit: Keep an equipped first aid kit on board in case of an accident or a medical emergency.
  • Rope: Rope can help you to pull someone in if they go overboard. It’s also helpful for securing your boat to a dock and for tying down loose items in especially windy weather.
  • Life Jackets: You should have an approved life jacket for every person on board.
  • An Oar: You can use this to navigate through the water in the event of an engine failure.
  • Fire Extinguisher: This is required in case of an emergency.
  • Throwable Flotation Device: This can be used to save someone struggling in the water.
  • Knife: You can use this to cut your rope if it gets caught on something, like the propeller.
  • Air Horn: Use this to attract attention and signal that you are in need of help.
  • Sunscreen: Never a bad idea to have extra sunscreen on hand.

Check the Weather Conditions

Obviously, warm and sunny days are ideal for boating. Unfortunately, you can’t always predict when a sunny day will turn into a stormy one. We recommend that you check the weather several times before taking your boat out onto the water. Use sources like AccuWeather and The Weather Channel for the best weather predictions. Additionally, Nationwide says that varying gusts of wind and choppy water are signs of approaching storms. Keep this in mind when you are evaluating the water before you head out for the day.

Follow Proper Procedures

There are many steps to follow when taking your boat out on the water. It’s important that you follow all of the proper procedures before you leave the dock, while you’re out on the water, and after returning to the dock. According to Nationwide, there are specific strategies that you can use to anchor and dock your boat properly.

When it comes to anchoring your boat, having the right anchor isn’t enough. To keep the wind from dragging your boat, you may need to drop two anchors in a V-formation at the front of your boat.

To properly dock your boat, you will need to pay attention to several external factors. The wind, the current, and the type of boat you have all play a part in how you dock your boat. As you approach the dock, make sure your bumpers are out to prevent any damage. Reduce your speed and make sure that the docking lines are secured. If the wind is blowing towards the shore, bring the boat about two feet from the dock and let the wind gently guide it into place. Then, secure it with lines. On the other hand, if the wind is blowing away from the shore, you should approach the dock at a 20 degree angle to compensate for the wind. Then, you can secure the bow line.

Of course, the best way to learn about proper boating procedures is to take a boating safety course!

Gerstad Builders wants to make sure that you have a fun and safe boating experience this summer. Follow these tips to make sure that you do exactly that. If you are looking for a home near your favorite boating spot, take a look at our beautiful communities in McHenry, Richmond, Poplar Grove, and Williams Bay! You can schedule a tour of our model homes by filling out our contact form or by calling us at 815-385-4495.

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