4 Boat Safety Rules Boat Owners Wish Passengers Knew
If your friends are looking forward to joining you out on the water, they need to understand basic boat safety rules. They also need to follow those safety rules. Too often boat owners find themselves with well-meaning, but uninformed passengers putting their safety at risk.
Here are a few safety rules and precautions you can take to ensure your passengers have a fun time on the water.
1. Boats have to be prepared for the water BEFORE departure.
Boats don’t just come out of climate controlled boat storage and right onto the water. There are several steps to ensure the boat is ready to safely navigate the water.
It is likely your friends don’t realize how much work goes into getting a boat ready for the water. Last minute plans are fun, but not always possible for a boat. They should also be willing to help with some of the manual labor that goes into getting a boat ready for the water after it has been in climate controlled boat storage for a season.
2. Plan on falling in the water.
Most Arkansans know how to swim. The few that don’t must wear properly-fitting life jackets at all times.
Hosting a party with alcohol? Passengers who know how to swim must understand that they won’t be able to swim as well when they are under the influence of alcohol. They must also understand that the effects of alcohol are often increased in the summer heat and wind.
As the driver of the boat, you will be the judge of when it is time for someone to put a life jacket on.
3. Don’t jump in the water when the propeller is spinning.
As a boat owner, you’ve heard all the horror stories of people jumping or falling off a boat, getting caught in the dangerous spin of the sharp propellers that are operating beneath the boat.
Your passengers are less informed of this danger. Make sure they understand the simple precautions that need to be taken in order to avoid a terrible accident.
4. Don’t exceed the boat’s capacity.
You know what your boat can handle. Your passengers might not realize how extra weight affects the boat’s stability. Make note of the capacity plate and, if lower, know the weight you are comfortable loading onto your boat.