Did you spend all winter cooped up, waiting for the moment when you could take your boat back out on the water? Has it just been too long since you took your vessel on the rolling waves and under the warm sun? Summer is finally here in North America, and it’s time to get back out on the water. Whether you’re doing so commercially or recreationally, this may very well be the best time of year to be out on your boat. That said, safety is always important. Our Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center urges everyone to stay safe when they’re on the water.
Check the Fluids Before You Leave the Dock
You know to have a personal flotation device for everyone on your boat before you leave port. Additionally, you want to check all of your fluid levels, too. Not just the gas, but also that you have enough transmission fluid and engine oil. If you do have to add fuel, be sure to open the hatches and run the blower. In the event that you smell some kind of fume, do not start the engine, as that could lead to problems. One more word about “fluids” – it’s fine and fun to have a party on your vessel. However, make sure that the person operating the boat doesn’t consume alcohol. Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol is illegal.
A Word About Personal Flotation Devices
Simply “having” a personal flotation device for everyone on the vessel isn’t enough. If the personal flotation devices don’t fit, or they aren’t readily accessible in the event of an emergency, then they really aren’t in a position to do anyone much good. So, make sure that they fit comfortably on every person on the vessel. Additionally, if everyone on the vessel isn’t going to wear them, make sure they’re in such a place that they can be grabbed at a moment’s notice.
Other Equipment to Keep in Mind
The above are just some of the items that you’re going to want before heading out on the water. Check to make sure your boat lights work, an operational fire extinguisher, flares, a first aid kit, your phone, a charger, a radio that will let you reach shore – those can all be beneficial.
A Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Site to Help All Year Long
Don’t let all this talk of danger and safety get to you – there’s nothing more fun than going out on the water with people whose company you enjoy. The right safety equipment and preparation ensure that everyone has a good time. Speaking of tasks that you want to take care of before you head out on the water: your vessel documentation. At the Maritime Documentation Center, we have everything you need to work through your boat’s documentation that much faster and easier. To see everything that we offer, you can head to our site. To talk to a member of our staff, call (800) 535-8570.