Tips for Boat Safety Before You Hit the Water

 Marine & Boat

The nice weather is hopefully here to stay which means boating season is also around the corner! Review these simple tips to help stay safe on the water this year. For more information on licensing and safe boating check out Transport Canada and for more information on insurance for your boat, visit marine insurance.

Safety Equipment Essentials

Not only is it important to make sure your boat in proper working condition, but also to ensure the right safety equipment is on board. No matter where you’re headed, it’s always a good idea to equip your boat with these items in case of an emergency:

  • Life Jackets
  • First Aid Kit
  • Paddle or Anchor (in case of engine failure)
  • Flashlight
  • Sound Signaling Device
  • Manual Water Pump or Bailer
  • Fire Extinguisher

Docking Tips

  1. Plan ahead
    Make sure you get to know your boat and check your fuel, engine, and safety equipment before you depart. Then all it takes is practice! The more you practice the more comfortable you’ll be docking in tight spaces.
  2. Weather
    It is beneficial to plan around the weather so you can be better equipped under any condition. Taking advantage of wind and current can help maintain better control.
  3. Slow and Steady
    Slower speed gives you more control and time to correct your approach. Apply short bursts of power for better maneuvering.
  4. Anticipate traffic
    It is important to know where other boats will be entering/exiting from so you can plan your docking around jams.
  5. Try Again
    If something isn’t going according to plan, circle back and try again!

Boating With Kids

Making sure your kids stay safe while on the water is key to your relaxation. Here’s how to ensure a safe trip for your family so that everyone can enjoy the fun!

  1. Swimming lessons
    The best way to prepare children is through lessons. This will help young children feel safe around water. Be sure to educate them about the differences between open water and swimming pools.
  2. Preparation and Practice
    Practice some safety routines with kids. Try to make this a fun learning experience for them, so they can be excited. It is important to cover the procedures for any given circumstance.
  3. Childproofing your boat
    Covering things like switches and panels. Locking cupboards and keep equipment out of reach. Kids should be informed on what not to touch beforehand.
  4. Bright coloured lifejacket and whistle
    A bright coloured life jacket for children would be ideal. Attach a whistle on the lifejacket and teach the kids how and when to use it.
  5. First aid kit
    Keep a kit on hand with additional things like anti-nausea medicine, bug repellent, and sunscreen.

Let Someone Know Where you are Going

Finally, it’s always important to make sure someone you trust knows where you are going, how you plan to get there, and when you plan to return. This is important in case you become lost and need necessary action to be taken, such as contacting Search and Rescue which can save a life. This can also help prevent people from worrying and contacting Search and Rescue prematurely.

Ensure You are Properly Covered

Contact Westland Insurance if you have any questions regarding marine and boat coverage. To learn more, visit our Marine insurance page or contact your local Westland Insurance branch today!