Welcome to the world of boat ownership! You picked out a sweet ride and now you are ready for good times ahead while boating on Lake Lewisville, Lake Grapevine, and beyond. But are you familiar with boat safety?
Buxton Marine wants to help educate you with 5 safe boating tips in Texas to keep in mind as you set sail:
- Share Your “Float Plan”
What is a “float plan” you ask? It’s simply your estimated time on the lake, who’s with you, where you are going to be boating, etc. Sharing this information with someone else who will not be on the boat is important so that should you have mechanical failure or other mishaps, you know someone will know to come looking for you. Don’t forget to give them the boat type and registration information as well.
- Take a Boating Safety Course
In the State of Texas, a boating safety course is not required if you were born before 1993, but being familiar with common boating rules of operation is a must for any new boat owner. There are a plethora of resources available online including this free one from Boat US Foundation.
- Assign an Assistant Skipper
As a good rule of thumb, don’t go out on the lake unless you and at least one other member of your party are familiar with the boat’s operation procedures and can safety drive it. Assign this person as your “Assistant Skipper,” willing to step in and safety drive the boat should you become incapacitated in some way.
- Check the Weather
Know the weather before you depart out onto the boat and avoid the water should the weather skies look dark, high winds are picking up, or you experience sudden drops in temperature. Be prepared on board your vessel for all types of weather.
- Common Sense in Key
As with anything, common sense will get you a long way when operating your boat safely on the lake. Use safe boating speeds at all times, be mindful of buoys designated areas where boating is prohibited or you are to slow down, and being alert and focused at all ties are key to a safe – and fun! – day of boating.