When it comes to boating safely this spring and summer, we’re all kind of in uncharted waters. Yes, thankfully, in so many parts of the country, it looks like the COVID-19 pandemic may be receding. More and more businesses are able to safely open up, folks are able to go outside and live their lives again. However, while all of that is great, the virus isn’t just taking the summer off. We all have to do our part to stay safe on the water, just as we would any other summer. This summer might just be a bit different. While the primary purpose of the Maritime Documentation Center is to make sure you’re in compliance with USCG vessels’ regulations, we understand the importance of boating safety too.
Social Distancing on the Pier, Dock, Harbor, and More
Social distancing really just means staying six feet or more from someone. Really, when you’re at the pier or harbor, for the most part, you’re probably already doing this. Folks are going to understand that you aren’t shaking hands with strangers every time you go to get on or even just work on your boat. That said, you also might want to be reticent about sharing tools or equipment with other boaters at the marina too, as there’s some evidence that the virus could pass on those surfaces. No matter what, stop touching your face, nose, eyes, mouth, etc, and remember to wash your hands frequently.
Minimize Time on the Ramp
If you’re launching your vessel from a public ramp, considering spending as little time as possible on it. Whether you’re retrieving it or launching it, the longer you’re there, the more you could be exposed to other people who may potentially have the virus. Obviously, it can behoove you to wear a mask, wear gloves, have hand sanitizer, etc., but it’s not like you wanted to spend all day out on the ramp, anyway.
Be Careful About How Many People Are on Your Boat
Each state has different regulations for this, so you’re going to want to be aware of that before you go out on the water. Many places still have a rule that you can’t have more than ten people in any one location at one time. Still, others strongly recommend that you don’t have more than five on a vessel. The safest way to boat right now is going out on a recreational vessel with your immediate family; the people you’ve been living with.
USCG Vessels’ Documentation
Soon, this difficult time is going to pass. It may take longer than we all want to deal with, but until then, we have to do what we can to get through it as safely as possible. Here at the Maritime Documentation Center, we can help you to stay in compliance with any and all Coast Guard documentation. At our site, you can find the forms that you’ll need for any stage of vessel ownership. For more help, you can email us or call (800) 535-8570.