If you are new to sailing or even if you grew up on the water, you should always use caution and learn some basic tips for sailing safety. The safer you make sailing, the better time you and the whole family will have.
Tip#1. Make sure you have one life vest per person on the boat, and one throwable flotation device and all must be coast guard approved. If the ship is going down, do you have a life vest close by for you and everyone on the boat? If not you are already breaking the law in some waters and playing a foolish and unsafe game. Invest in Coast Guard approved life vests.
Tip#2. You may not be planning on staying out until it is dark, but you never know what could happen. Check all the lights on your sailing vessel to make sure they are working correctly. You do not want to get caught out in the dark with no views. It is unsafe, stupid and you would be breaking the law.
Tip#3. Pack extra maps, flares, a whistle, first aid kit, and an additional handheld radio or CB. In times of an emergency, you want to make sure you have extra supplies that could mean the difference in a making a bad situation better or worse. Maps in case you go down the wrong river, a whistle in case your boat’s horn is not working correctly, first aid kit for injuries and the other radio in case the one your boat has stopped working. Always abide by Murphy’s law, and that is anything that can go wrong, will.
Tip#4. Monitor the weather for the day you will be out on the water. If they are calling for a good chance of rain or severe weather conditions, do not risk it. Stay off the water that day. If it turns out to be a beautiful day, then oh well, at least you are safe. Tomorrow will always be another opportunity to enjoy the water.
Tip#5. Make sure to have an emergency kit that includes all the medical supplies that you might need if something unexpected happens. Have a flashlight on board, especially if the watercraft you are using has a real engine room. Everything needs to get checked before going out on the water.
Tip#6. If you are celebrating, make sure the boat you use is big enough to hold everyone. Overloading a boat is extremely dangerous. Do not allow for horseplay on the water, even if everyone knows how to swim. Boating safety is vital for everyone to keep in mind, even if the skipper is an expert.
Sailing is meant to be an enjoyable experience and fool of fun for the friends and family. When you do not exercise caution, it could turn into a deadly disaster. Whenever in doubt about a situation always be conservative and use common sense. If rough water conditions make you nervous or unsure about yourself or your abilities, then it is best to stay off the water that day. Take the necessary steps not to endanger yourself or those that are on your watercraft.