8 Simple Tips for Boating Safety in New England

8 Simple Tips for Boating Safety in New England

The summer season is fast approaching, and that means it’s time for fishing, swimming and boating!

Proudly owning and operating a boat in New England comes with the need to be aware of ever-changing boating conditions.

Whether you’re a first-time boater or a seasoned captain, you should always expect the unexpected.

From treacherous waters and foggy weather, to sharp rocks and powerful currents, many things can go wrong.

But they don’t have to!

Because by following these simple New England boating safety tips as you get back out onto the water, you can help keep your voyage safe and enjoyable.

1. Complete a Boating Safety Course

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, taking a boating safety course is the best way to reduce your chances of having an accident while operating a vessel.

There are many different types of boating safety courses available online and in-person, so be sure to register for a local course to stay up-to-date with safety precautions..

2. Look for Clear Skies

Another great New England boating safety tip is to keep an eye on the weather.

Checking the weather forecast before heading out on the water can help you avoid dangerous conditions.

And if you do happen to encounter any unexpected strong winds or high waves, head back to shore. Knowing how to respond to different weather conditions is essential to staying safe out on the water.

3. Tell a Friend or Relative

In case of an emergency, it’s best for someone on shore to know where you’ll be.

Tell a friend or relative your plans ahead of time and when they should expect your return. Try to stay on course as best you can. This way, it’ll be easier for rescue crews to locate you if they’re needed.

4. Brush Up on Your Swimming Lessons

Before getting out onto the water, you must brush up on your swimming lessons.

Even an experienced swimmer could have trouble staying afloat in the unpredictable waves at sea.

Test the waters. If there’s a strong current or the temperature is too cold, it’s safer to stay on board.

5. Make a Checklist & Restock Supplies

Our fifth New England boating safety tip is to draft a checklist pre-voyage and make sure to restock the necessary supplies.

Always keep a first aid kit handy for any minor injuries. Take care of any repairs before setting sail. And make sure you have PLENTY of clean drinking water. Odds are, the water you’re boating in is not safe for consumption should you need it.

If you use a trailer to haul your boat to the ocean during the summer, refer to our trailer safety tips here.

6. Wear a Life Jacket!

This tip may seem exaggerated for some, but it’s on the list for a reason.

Every passenger needs to wear a life jacket, even if they can swim. The ocean water isn’t nearly the same as a pool, and neither are the dangers it can present. But even so, it’s both a law and a smart practice to keep a vest on you at all times.

Be sure to inspect your life jackets to make sure there aren’t any rips or tears. A life jacket should fit snug so they stay put and can’t easily slip off, especially for children.

7. Never Operate Under the Influence

No one who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol should operate the boat.

This can put every passenger’s life in danger, as well as other other sailors or swimmers. It’s best to have a “designated driver” and know the laws regarding alcohol out at sea.

8. Get Insured!

Last but not least, you must get your boat insured!

Boats are huge investments.

And even during the winter months, when you dock your boat, there’s a possibility of weather damage.

Whatever your needs are, finding an insurance plan to meet them and keep you covered will give you peace of mind all year round.

The Northeast-MetroWest Insurance Agency is here for all of your New England property and casualty insurance needs. We specialize in recreational vehicle insurance, especially for folks who own boats.

Take a look at our recreational vehicle coverage options to find the right coverage for you!

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