If the weather over the last week here in western Washington has shown us anything its that we are very much in the opening phases of spring. While it is still admittedly a bit early to be boating it’s certainly not too early to be thinking about, and planning ahead so when boating weather is finally here you are ready to go. Also continuing on the theme of our outdoor activities safety blogs we started last week we will be continuing this week to talk about boat safety to consider before you launch this upcoming season. Remember too safety starts before you ever get to the boat with proper coverage! Make sure you’re covered or that your existing coverage is adequate today!
Make sure you have appropriate gear before you set out!
Some emergencies are unpreventable. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to prepare even for unforeseen circumstances. Below is a brief list of things you should make sure you have with you before you set out on the water. Just in case.
Tool kits for immediate repairs
Bailer or pump
Extra water and food if available
Extra self care items like sunscreen
Maps of the area and other navigational aids
Radio equipment or other communication devices that are not your normal cell phone
Mirror or something else reflective
This is in no way an exhaustive list. Just a brief run down of easy to remember and obtain items that should be considered before you set out.
Additionally there are some other steps you can take before setting out for your summer boating that ensures not only you but all of your passengers are as safe as possible when on the water.
You can take a boating class- If this is your first season as a boat owner, First season in a long time back on the water or just someone who wants to take all the precautions possible there are tons of different boating classes available in the western Washington area. These classes vary from by the type of boat you will be operating to what kind of water you will be on. There are also just general information courses available (like drivers ed for boats) as well! If you find yourself wishing you had more boating knowledge this year perhaps that could be for you!
Get your boat checked out before you hit the water, FOR FREE- You can get a free vessel check by the U.S. coast guard or the U.S. Power squadrons for generally seaworthiness for free! Even better than that there is no penalty or anything like that if for some reason your check comes back unsatisfactory. Its just free knowledge and advice about your vessel. FOR FREE.
While all of these things are things you can handle before you hit the water, there are a few very important things to remember once you are on the water. Combined with the things listed above you will have made the extra effort to ensure the safety of you and your passengers this summer.
1. Always check the weather before you set out
2. Make sure you always have enough available US coast guard approved life jackets for everyone
3. Exercise common sense and caution when on the water
4. DO NOT DRINK AND BOAT
5. Be cautious of harmful fumes from your boat
With any combination of these things and a little luck you are well on your way to a fun and safe summer season boating in the sun. We care about the safety of you and your passengers! So please be safe this boating season and remember we are always here to answer any questions you may have regarding new boat coverage, expanding existing boat coverage or any questions you may have regarding boating claims!