Make this years’ Memorial Day Weekend memorable, but also safe! In South Florida, the Memorial Day weekend (May, 28-30) is the
unofficial start of summer for many, and a special time to pause and remember all those who sacrifice for our freedom.
This weekend is also one of the busiest weekends on the water for boaters. Because, what’s a long weekend without getting away?
And we all agree that there are great weekend getaway destinations all around the country, so many boat lovers will spend time on the water.
57′ 2017 Sunseeker Predator for sale by Rick Obey Yacht Sales.
Safety measures when boating
Here are just a few tips that can give you peace of mind regarding your trip. We hope you are willing to both, learn from and act on these safety measures:
BEFORE you are heading out on the water, be sure to:
Always make sure your boat is functioning safely and properly to avoid malfunctions later on. If you want to have your boat assessed for safety by the U.S Coast Guard, visit this link. And don’t forget to check the insurance as well.
● Check your safety kit to make sure is complete
The boat safety kit should be kept on board no matter the size of the boat. Some essential items your safety kit should include: Flashlight, Duct tape, Bucket, First aid kit, Whistle, Ropes, Fire extinguisher and of course Life jackets.
● Prepare proper life jackets
There are many types of life jackets on the market. Make sure the one you buy is appropriate for your on-water activity. By law, all boats must have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board. Some states also require children to wear life jackets at all times.
● Monitor the weather beforehand
Warm, sunny days are ideal for boating, but you can’t always predict when a storm will roll in. Make sure you have a plan to seek help and get dry if necessary.
● Share your plan with people that may help you
Having someone to keep an eye on your safety while you are away is not a necessity, but a wise thing to do. Leave your plan written for a friend or family member who is into boating, and can have insightful advice for you if needed.
ON THE WATER, be sure to:
Rules on the water aren’t much different than rules on the road, but knowing the basics and then having the proper reference tools aboard to consult for all the more nuanced regulations is imperative. Stay alert at all times, operate at a safe speed and ensure that passengers stay safely within the boat’s railings, are just a few of them.
● Follow proper anchoring procedures
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 the craft to keep it from drifting. To help prevent the tide from lifting your anchor, you may need to drop it in deeper water – about 20-30 feet or so.
● Follow proper docking procedures
Sometimes, docking can be a challenge, depending on the weather or the boat type. To prevent damage to your craft make sure your bumpers are out, as you approach the dock or shore. Reduce your speed and make sure the docking lines are secured. If the wind is blowing towards the shore, bring the boat about two feet from the dock and the wind will gently pull it in. You can then secure it with lines. If the wind is blowing away from the shore, approach the dock at a 20- to 30-degree angle to compensate for the wind. Then secure the bow line.
● Follow your boat’s capacity
Having family and friends on the boat with you might be nice, but please, don’t overload the boat with people or equipment. Doing that with either passengers or equipment can unbalance your craft.
● Have a designated sober operator
Memorial Day is a great celebration and most people would be under the influence, but, be sure to designate somebody that will be sober and keep you safe during your cruise.
The Coast Guard reminds all boaters that safety starts at the dock before you board your boat. Boaters should expect to see extra patrols on the water and shouldn’t be alarmed if they are stopped for a routine check.
Meanwhile, let’s keep close to our hearts that: “Each of the patriots whom we remember on this day was first a beloved son or daughter, a brother or sister, or a spouse, friend, and neighbor.”
George H. W. Bush
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