Smooth Sailing: How to Get Ready for Another Boating Season

Boating season approaches for Australians, but before setting sail, boaters address a number of essentials.  For one, boating insurance protects boaters from financial obligation in the case of an accident.  Secondly, no one should be at sea without respect for safety.

Get Apps

Boaters need to keep close watch of present and upcoming weather conditions, which change in real time.  Avoid getting stuck in severe conditions using online weather applications.  Additionally, don’t get too far off while sailing with limited experience.  Applications increase awareness but can’t help when you’re in an emergency situation.

Be Consistent

It’s easy to forget integral items or grow distracted before you set sail.  Form and follow a predeparture checklist each boat journey.  Consistency ensures best safety practices and lessens the chances of avoidable accidents.

Use Common Sense

Use common sense when operating your boat and be responsible for others.  Those operating should not drink alcohol or partake in other activities that distract attention or facilitate loss of focus.  Boating authorities are strict in enforcing laws and offer no leniency to those irresponsible.

Designate a Second Command

For longer journeys, designate a second in command.   In the case of an emergency, and the first in command is incapacitated or unable to attend to duties, the second in command ensures the crew and boat a safe return.  You’re taking a risk when taking a long journey alone; and, it’s more irresponsible to take others on long sails when you’re the only one with nautical awareness.

Share Plans

Share information related to your destination, route, and those who will be taking the journey with a family member or marina staff member.  Average float plans include names and numbers of passengers, trip itinerary, types of equipment on board, any limitations, etc.  Alerting others of your whereabouts creates another layer of safety.

Wear Jackets

A majority of accident victims do not wear lifejackets and meeting safety standards means knowing how to swim.  Do not let a person the boat if they’re not wearing a lifejacket.  Furthermore, ensure those who are on the boat know how to swim and have no fear of the water.  Lessons are available to beginner swimmers.  Advanced swimmers can take added lessons in nautical safety too.

Take a Course

Expert boaters know there is no comparison to experience, yet to gather experience, more learning is necessary.  Take boating courses focused on safety and nautical mastery.  There’s no limit to how many hours you can log at sea or how much you can learn about Australian boating safety.

Get a Safety Check

Ask local authorities for a safety check.  If you’re unsure of who to contact, ask marina employees.  For example, in America, the US Coast Guard provides complimentary boat examinations and information related to state and federal regulations.  Officials provide a checklist to keep track of maintenance needs and necessary annual paperwork.  Check online for nautical officials in your location.

Don’t Underestimate

Never underestimate the power of the sea and the need for added safety.  For example, it’s cute and fun to bring your pup along for a boat ride, yet don’t forget pets need safety jackets too!  Yes, there are lifejackets made for dogs and small pets.  Don’t cast off without erring on the side of caution and overestimating your need to meet safety standards.

Get Insurance

Survey boat insurance vendors who keep boaters protected from legal lawsuits and other penalties afflicting those without coverage.  There is a range of options and levels of insurance protection.  Ask a potential agent for help understanding the differences in coverage and to help prepare for insurance repairs.

Go Out with Others

It’s tranquil to take a solo cruise, yet going out to sea with other captains allows others the chance to lookout for your well being.  Search online for nautical clubs or ask marina employees about opportunities to meet others with boats.  Boating is a lifelong hobby.  There’s great opportunity to meet friends and stay safer on the water.

Gabrielle Victor is known as the boating fanatic among her friends. When she’s not working or driving her boat, she’s writing about it. You can read her helpful articles mainly on boating and recreation blogs and websites.