As the days get warmer and summer gets closer, there is a strong desire to take your boat out on the water. There is no better way to spend a sunny summer day than on a boat after all!

Even though being out on the river with your friends and family seems like the best thing ever, there are many boat safety issues that could possibly arise that you need to be prepared for. Below are a few boating safety tips to ensure you are being considerate and responsible on your next boating day!

1. Know the Rules

Being knowledgeable on the rules of the water is of the utmost importance. When it comes to operating a boat, there are many rules that apply to the water that differ from driving a car. Some of these rules include no-wake zones, driving etiquette, and most importantly, life jacket regulations.

There are even strict rules about when you are allowed to sit on the side of the boat. This means that you should only allow people who have obtained their boating license to drive the boat!

2. Boat Maintenance

Make sure to run your boat and get your boat checked for maintenance issues before you go out on the water. If you end up stalled out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico because you have an oil leak in your engine, you are going to end up in a real bind(speaking from person experience)!

Regular boat maintenance checks should consist of checking the battery, oil level, engine instruments, engine controls, and fuel hoses at minimum. Check out our blog on boat maintenance tips for more information!

3. Don’t Drink and Drive

It is so important to make sure that you are not drinking and driving. This is one of the few rules that apply to driving both cars and boats. There is so much room for error on the water, which makes it very important to stay sober and alert when driving a boat.

4. Check the Weather and Tides

We all know how unpredictable weather can be, especially in South Louisiana. Be sure to check the weather radar for any bad weather, as well as the wind levels. It could be a beautiful sunny day out, but if the wind is too strong, it can create choppy waves that can be very dangerous to operate a boat in.

In addition to the weather, check the tide levels also. Knowing the timing of the tide can help to make sure you don’t get your boat stuck in low tide and you don’t go swimming in a strong high tide current either.

5. Don’t Forget Lunch and Water

It can be very easy to forget to eat lunch and drink your water whenever you are having fun in the sun. If you are spending your day dehydrated and hungry with the sun beating down on you it can have some adverse effects such as fainting, dizziness, and sleepy. All these effects can reduce cognitive function resulting in delayed decision making, which can be dangerous when operating large machinery such as a boat.

Unfortunately, recreational boating isn’t all fun and games. But hopefully, these boating safety tips will allow for you to be more cognizant and aware of how to be a responsible boater!

Whether you are boating in a river, on the ocean, or in a lake, there are so many different things that could happen that could potentially harm you or your loved ones. So, make sure that you are doing everything in your power to ensure the safety of everyone around you, whether they are on your boat or in the water!

If something does go wrong, Henry Insurance Service is here to make sure you’re covered. Learn more about watercraft and boat insurance here: Watercraft & Boat Insurance