1. Should you go boating in the first place? You have a plan to go boating on a certain date at a certain time. Before you go consider from home if there is any dangerous conditions that should keep you at home. Questions to check on: Is the temperature range acceptible for fun? Is there a storm expected in your time window? (Check local radar) Is there lightning expected in your time range? (If yes, don’t go)

2. If you are going, what you should consider taking along. First, you need to take drinks, especially water. Sun screen may be needed so you don’t burn. The right clothes to keep you conforable in heat or cold (Note: It is usually colder on the water). Navigation equipment to keep the boat within areas of sufficient depth and free of hazards (Make a plan for navagation ahead of time).

3. Check the boat before leaving the dock. First, you need life jackets for all the people who will be aboard (Special sizes are required for kids). You should have basic equipment like an achor, throwable live saving cushion, first aide kit, fire extinguiser and paddle. If available, a depth finder and marine radio are awesome devices in many boating areas. If your boat has an inner hull make sure the bildge pump is working and turn it on an pump out any water in the hull (Very Important). When you start the engine check to see if water is pumping out of the engine (for cooling). Listen to the engine to see if it is running smooth and sounds good.

4. Know the rules of the water. Take classes on boat operation from experts before the date of your boat outing. Check ahead of time with local authorities on required boating licenses and boat certificates. Obey signs seen on the water, especially those limiting speed. It is highly recommended that you return to port before dark and that the captain does not drink any alcohol before or during the boat outing. When you get home, celebrate a safe trip.

5. Stay alert on the water. Just like when driving the car, drive defensively to keep yourself and passengers out of trouble and hazard.

Have fun, be safe!!