Spring is upon us and it’s time to start making your best boating memories ever! Here are a couple of basic reminders that will make your boating experiences as safe and as fun as possible!
– Educate yourself and your children about proper boat terminology. Boating certainly has a rather unique language so it’s very important for everyone to understand the basics.
– Make sure to check the weather forecast and absolutely make sure that you and your family are dressed properly. Be prepared for sudden changes, which may include waterproof articles and should always include non-skid deck shoes.
– Take a minute to go over how the basic safety equipment works such as whistles, flares, fire extinguishers, and the radio. You may even want to assign a child to an on-board task, such as acting as the lookout. Good habits and teamwork are built early on.
– Buy quality life jackets and make sure they are used. On average, 84 percent of drowning victims were not using life jackets. Look for strong waist and crotch straps, a handle on the collar, and preferably in a bright color for good visibility. It’s also a good idea to have a whistle attached.
– It’s very important to consider your passengers’ interests. Not everyone likes to do what you like to do. Choose a neutral destination that everyone will enjoy. A quiet cove is usually a great idea with a diverse group. You can snorkel, swim, fish or wade to shore for some hiking adventures. Make sure you bring insect repellant.
– If you’re going on a big trip, share your navigation charts and how to use your GPS. Encourage questions and be patient; your guidance will help form the foundation of their boating knowledge.
– As a general rule, family boating is most often enjoyed when there are no schedules to follow; this should definitely include meal times. Bring a variety of snacks and drinks that make it easy for children and guests to eat whenever they want.