Safety Tip Detail

Tips for Safe Boating

No matter how many years you've been around boats, please take just five minutes to scan this information. People who hunt or fish from boats have one of the highest boat fatality rates. More die from falling off boats 16 feet and smaller than larger boats, and most boats are anchored at the time.

Be weather wise:
Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can mean a storm is brewing. Bring a portable radio to check weather reports.

Bring extra gear you may need.
A flashlight, extra batteries, matches, a map of where you are, flares, sun tan lotion, first aid kit, extra sunglasses. Put those that need to be protected in a watertight pouch or a container that floats.

Tell someone where you're going, who is with you, and how long you'll be away.
Then check your boat, equipment, boat balance, engine and fuel supply before leaving.

Ventilate after fueling.
Open hatches, run blower, and most important, carefully sniff for gasoline fumes in the fuel and engine areas before starting your engine.

Stay dry and warm.
Wear several layers of light clothing; bring rainproof covering. Never wear hip waders in a small boat.

Keep fishing & hunting gear clean and well packed.
A loose fish hook can cause a lot of pain and ruin a great outing. Bring an extra length of line to secure boat or equipment.

When changing seats, stay low and near center line of a small boat.

Be ready for trouble when a powerboat passes you in a narrow channel.
As the lead boat (which always has the right of way) stay on your side of the channel and maintain a steady speed so that the overtaking vessel can pass you safely. Use your radio to discuss this with the passing boat.

Anchor from bow, not stern.
Use anchor line length at least five times longer than water depth.

Take a safe boating course.
As an extra benefit, you may earn lower boat insurance costs.