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Boating 101: Your guide to boating safety

Group of young people with raised hands enjoying in a speedboat ride.

One of the great perks of Smith Mountain Lake rentals is being able to take a boat out on the lake. Even if you’ve got a lot of experience with boating, there’s no harm in brushing up on your boat safety. It’s even more important for newbies. Here are some tips on how to stay safe when boating.

  1. Take Boating Lessons

    You wouldn’t drive without taking some driving lessons, so why take a boat trip without some boating lessons? Take a boating course and get familiar with the rules of the road, so to speak. These courses are inexpensive and can be completed in less than a day, so there’s no excuse not to take one.

  2. Get Your Boat Checked – For Free

    Don’t worry about the cost of a vessel safety check as the U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary – along with the U.S Power Squadrons – offer free boat checks to verify that your boat meets the necessary safety requirements required by state and federal regulations. There are even virtual vessel checks if you can’t get someone out to your Smith Mountain Lake rentals boat physically.

  3. Check the Weather

    Always be sure to check the weather for where you live and, if applicable, where you are going. If the weather is bad then don’t go out on the boat. Smith Mountain Lake rentals are pretty cozy so there’s nothing wrong with staying in if you have to!

  4. Practice Common Sense

    Basic common sense is your best friend in all aspects of life. That includes boating. Always use your boat at a safe speed, especially if the water gets crowded. Stay alert and be sure to steer clear of any large watercraft that are unable to turn or stop safely in an emergency. Don’t tempt fate.

  5. Stick to the Rules

    The USCG has a whole heap of rules and regulations for boating safety. Familiarize yourself with these rules and stick to them. Part of that is respecting any navigational aids, such as buoys, out on the water. Those aids are there for your safety and the safety of those around you.

  6. Have a First Mate

    It helps to have more than one person who understands how to handle and operate the boat on board. The more people you have who know about boating safety the better. If the primary boat operator becomes incapacitated then you’ll need someone who can get the boat back safely. Make sure you have that someone on the boat before setting out.

  7. Life Jackets Save Lives

    Make sure that everyone on board the boat has their own life jacket and understands how to use it. Life jackets are the seat belts of the sea (or lake, as it were). So buckle up. At the very least every child under 16 needs a jacket and anyone performing water sports is legally required to wear one.

  8. Don’t Booze and Boat

    Operating a boat under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car under the influence. It’s also just as illegal. Around half of all boating accidents are attributed to alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with partying on a boat, of course, but make sure you have a designated skipper who stays sober and can bring everyone back home safe.

Being able to take a boat out on the lake is a thrill that anyone checking out Smith Mountain Lake waterfront homes for sale can take advantage of. With that said, follow these tips to make sure your boating adventures don’t end in disaster.

Want to be closer to the boating action? Let me help you find the ideal Smith Mountain Lake real estate for you. Give me a call today at 540.493.1690 or email me at Jane(at)JaneAtTheLake(dotted)com.