Area NO. 1 Outdoor Club

A Membership nonProfit Organization

Boating Safety

  1. You must carry one wearable USCG-approved serviceable PFD of the proper size and type for each boat occupant. No tears, rips, broken straps or snaps. And remember: All PFDs must be ready at hand and not enclosed in plastic bags or locked compartments.

  2. Boats 16 feet and over must also carry one USCG-approved throwable PFD (Type IV).

  3. Always test your boat lights before the boat leaves the dock. If you use battery operated lights, always carry extra batteries. Keep in mind that even if you plan to be back before dark, an equipment malfunction or bad weather may change your plans.

  4. Be weather wise. Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can mean a storm is brewing. Bring a radio along and keep a close eye on the weather.

  5. Bring emergency supplies such as maps, flares, and a first aid kit. Put them in a floating pouch.

  6. Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.

  7. Check the boat landing for any local regulations applicable on the waterway where you will be boating.

  8. Learn the proper anchoring procedures for your boat. Improper anchoring is the cause of many fatal accidents.

  9. Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during boat operation. Alcohol's effects are greatly exaggerated while boating. Research has proven that four hours' exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise, and vibration produces boater fatigue which slows reaction time almost as much as being legally intoxicated. Adding alcohol to this equation can be fatal.

  10. If you loan your boat to someone, teach them how to operate it. In 1996, 36% of all boats involved in accidents occurred while the boat was being borrowed. Borrowed boats accounted for 16% of all fatalities and 43% of injuries. 54% of the personal watercraft involved in accidents were borrowed. If you share the boat -- share the knowledge!

  11. Never allow passengers to ride on gunwales or seatbacks or outside of protective railings, including the front of a pontoon boat. A sudden turn, stop or start could cause a fall overboard.

  12. Make certain your registration is up to date and that the current year sticker is displayed. Always carry your registration card on board with you.

  13. Practice good boat launch etiquette.

  14. Practice loading and unloading on a day that isn't too busy at the ramp.

  15. Remove covers and straps before you get in line to launch.

  16. Load equipment into boat before you reach the ramp. Make sure all equipment is working and that the plug is in.

  17. Once in line to launch, have a person available to hold the bow line and assist in boat handling at the pier.

  18. Have one person drive the boat off the trailer and out of the way of other boaters while another person is parking the tow vehicle.

  19. Upon departure from boat launch, maintain slow-no-wake speed for a safe and legal distance from boat launch.

  20. If bad weather is approaching, get off the water early to avoid a long waiting line in inclement weather.

  21. Drop one person off at pier to get vehicle and get in line.

  22. Once loaded, pull well away from launch area to secure boat for traveling purposes.