10 Essential Boat Safety Tips

If you are usually more of a land dweller than a water lover but are ready to set sail on your maiden voyage, then we think it is probably wise to take the time to learn the ropes. Whether you are planning a leisurely cruise or to go on a high seas adventure, then these 10 essential boat safety tips for beginners will hopefully ensure that your voyage stays on the right course.

1. Chart a course for a boat safety class

Look out for a course near you and make sure you understand the basics of boat safety, from wrestling giant octopuses to the mysterious ways of any sea signage, The RYA offer a range of courses to make sure you are seaworthy.

2. Life Jacket Love

We cannot stress this enough, when onboard, life jackets should be your most prized booty. Think like a barnacle and make sure of a snug fit. For your little ones, it might not be a legal requirement (except in Ireland) but we think it’s probably non-negotiable.

3. Keep an eye on the sky

Always check the weather forecast before casting off and be cautious of any sudden squalls. If the seas look like they might turn gnarly, it’s much better to postpone your trip than having to end up dealing with Neptune’s wrath.

4. Run a tight ship

Make sure everybody onboard knows the ropes. From the location and use of flares and whistles – to checking that all equipment is fully ship shaped; always give your boat a good check over before setting sail and make sure your crew mates have a bit of essential nous.

5. Follow the sea rules

Make sure you are aware of the rules of the waterways, keep to the speed limits and stay away from shallow waters. Keep a constant watch out for other boats and remember you are a small fish in a very big sea – always give way to ships.

6. Float Plan Fam

Unless you are planning to go all Robinson Crusoe, it’s probably wise to let a trusted soul know about your plans, who’s onboard, where you are heading off to and when you plan to safely return.

7. Know your boat’s drink of choice.

Is it gasoline or diesel? Don’t be the one who has to make THAT rescue call and keep some extra onboard, safety stowed away, just in case Neptune decides to throw you a curveball.

8. Be a first (aid) mate

Make sure you know your basic first aid, like CPR and how to stop bleeding. Make sure you have a full first aid kit onboard and it’s in date. You might end up as a saviour of the seas and save Buddy’s skin.

9. Be Sea Saavy

Keep those nautical Charts handy and use them to help you navigate any treacherous reefs or shallow waters. Keep a watch out for buoys and markers, they are not just seats for seagulls but are there to mark out any dangers and help guide boats safely along the waterways.

10. Don’t be a lobster

Be sunsafe and apply that sunscreen, we also highly recommend that you don some shades and sport a hat. Long hours at sea can fry you faster than, well, a… lobster’s tail.

So there you have it, some of our top boat safety tips for beginners, Take heed of these pearls of wisdom before you set sail and hopefully you’ll not only protect yourself and your crew but also ensure your maritime escapade is a swashbuckling success. However, this list is not exhaustive, there are many ways to get to Davy Jones’ locker, please enjoy your nautical adventures responsibly and safely. Smooth sailing, crewmates!

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