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Top 5 safety tips before taking your boat out this summer

With summer in the air and school holidays upon us, it’s prime time to get the boats ready for the water.

Before you get too far, remember that there are some safety checks that need to be performed before you can set sail. Today, we’ll be looking at the top safety checks you need to carry out to make sure your family is safe aboard the boat these school holidays.

Take notice of the weather

It’s difficult to get the whole family organised and once you’ve put aside a day to get out onto the water, you don’t want things getting in the way. However, one of the most important safety measures is to check the weather before heading out. Take a look at the local weather on the internet, TV, or radio just before heading out to make sure it’s going to be smooth sailing. If it’s not looking good, don’t risk it.

Tell someone you’re going

No matter how short your boat trip, always tell someone that you’re going out on the boat. This could be someone at the marina, a friend or family member. Let them know where you’re going, departure and arrival times, the names and contact details of everyone on board and the details of the boat. It can help to log your journey with the local coast guard also which means you’ll radio in on leaving, and on arrival at your destination. This means that if something goes wrong and you don’t make it back or there is an emergency, there is somebody who is aware of the full details.

Ensure everyone wears their lifejackets

It’s not good enough to just have the lifejackets stowed away on board in case of emergency. Accidents can happen when you’re boating and you need to insist that everyone wears their lifejackets. Check that everyone has their lifejacket securely fastened and knows how to work them if something goes wrong.

Checklist for departure

If you rely on memory alone for everything you need to remember before you set off, chances are you could forget something important. Create your own checklist or download one from a reputable internet source which covers things like lifejackets for everyone on board, first aid kits fully stocked, and that flares are not out of date and lights are working. This ensures that safety procedures can’t be accidentally overlooked. Your local transport and boating authority will generally have a guide you can rely on.

Have a backup skipper

If you’re planning a boating trip, particularly a longer one, it’s important to have someone else that holds the appropriate license on board who knows how to get back to shore and call for help. You should have someone who is familiar with safety procedures, boat handling, and operations as a backup driver if an emergency arises or even if the main skipper simply becomes too tired to drive the boat. This means you have some help on board and also have someone who can take over if necessary.

If you follow these simple tips, there’s no reason why you can’t have a fun and safe time out on the water!

For information about Boat Insurance, contact CGU today and we’d be happy to help.