Boating is a great way to have an adventure. The thrill of the open sea offers fun and excitement for all ages and can help a family spend quality time together. Whether you’re setting sail in an expansive ocean or just a small lake, however, there’s plenty of work to be done before casting off. Mechanical problems, dangerous marine life and rapidly changing weather can all shipwreck an otherwise wonderful day on the water, so being prepared for anything is vital for ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. Here’s what you need to know.
Perform a Systems Check
Help is far away when you’re on the water, so always make sure your boat is in good working order. Top off fuel tanks, check engine oil and coolant levels, and verify that the electrical, plumbing, communications and navigation systems are operating perfectly. Purchase replacement parts for boats and make necessary repairs before hitting the water.
Stock Up on Food and Water
You never know when an unforeseen event could leave you stranded, so never embark without having plenty of food and water on board. Finger foods and those that don’t produce much waste are ideal for the small enclosure of a boat. Most importantly, however, have an excess of drinking water on hand. People drink more when exposed to the sun for long stretches, and running out of water could entice an individual to drink the water surrounding him or her. Doing so is dangerous, however. Drinking salt water can make a person incredibly sick, and possibly even be fatal, while even the fresh water of an inland lake could contain harmful bacteria and pathogens.
Have Safety Equipment on Board
Brackish waters or large waves can quickly toss individuals overboard, and even experienced swimmers can drown in dangerous conditions. Life jackets, throwable flotation devices, flares, sound signaling devices and fire extinguishers are among the items that should always be on board.
Don’t let lack of preparation leave your next boating trip all wet. Keep these tips in mind for a fun and safe experience.