3 Tips for Safer Boating This Season

With a little bit of advance preparation and planning, you can have a greater feeling of safety and security while on the water with your family and friends. Now that spring is here and National Fishing and Boating Week is coming up, it's the ideal time to apply a few tips that can mean much safer (and happier) boating trips.

National Fishing and Boating Week coincides with the first week of June every year and highlights the significance of recreational boating and fishing in enhancing the quality of life across the U.S. Use this week to set a positive example and spread the word to other boaters and anglers you know.

Below are three helpful tips for safer boating during National Fishing and Boating Week — and every week.

  1. File a float plan. It doesn't matter if you are going out on a canoe or yacht, filing a float plan is a smart boating practice. Any boater, skipper or member of your crew can file a float plan. In the event of an emergency, a float plan will help convey and communicate accurate information about your boat, purpose of the trip, port of origin and intended destination. This type of information will help rescue personnel locate your vessel.

  2. Get a free boat safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard and the United States Power Squadrons have certified vessel examiners who can conduct a free Vessel Safety Check for you. The Vessel Safety Check is completed free of charge and will verify that you have all of the required safety equipment.

  3. Run through a boat service or maintenance checklist before taking your boat out for the season. Prevent any maintenance issues from spoiling a great day on the water by going through a service checklist before your first trip of the season. Are your bilge pumps clean and functioning properly? Are your batteries stored in a non-corrosive, liquid tight, ventilated container? Is your electrical system safely bundled and secured?

In addition to applying these three tips for safer boating, read through a more comprehensive safe boating checklist in the boating section at TakeMeFishing.org. Remember that best days on the water are safe days on the water!

Photos Courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard

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Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.