How to Plan and Prepare for Your Boat Outing

By: Judy Lash

Boating is a fun and relaxing activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. However, it also requires some planning and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some steps you can take to plan and prepare for your boat outing. Of course if you are in a boat club, the very first step is to reserve a boat.

  1. Check the weather forecast and water conditions. Before you head out, make sure you know what the weather will be like and how it will affect the water. Avoid boating in stormy, windy, or foggy conditions that can make navigation difficult or dangerous. Also, check the water temperature, currents, tides, and waves to make sure they are suitable for your boat and activities.
  1. Choose a suitable location and route. Depending on your boat type, size, and equipment, you may have different options for where you can go and how you can get there. Choose a location that matches your boating skills, interests, and goals. Also, plan a route that avoids hazards such as rocks, reefs, shallow water, sandbars, or busy traffic areas. Make sure you have a map or a GPS device to help you navigate. My husband, Andy, uses a GPS capable tablet with Navionics® Boating installed.
  1. Prepare your boat and equipment. Before you leave, make sure your boat is in good working order and has all the required safety equipment on board. This may include life jackets, fire extinguishers, flares, horns, anchors, ropes, paddles, first aid kits, and more. Check your fuel level and battery charge and make sure you have enough for your trip. Also, pack enough food, water, sunscreen, clothing, and other essentials for yourself and your passengers.
  1. Inform someone of your plans. It is always a good idea to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. This way, they can alert the authorities if you don’t come back on time or if they suspect something is wrong. You can also register your trip with a local marina or coast guard station for extra safety.
  1. Follow the boating rules and etiquette. When you are on the water, you should follow the boating rules and regulations that apply to your area and situation. These may include speed limits, right of way, signaling, anchoring, docking, fishing, swimming, and more. You should also respect other boaters and water users and avoid creating noise or pollution that may disturb them or the environment.

OK, now you are all set for a fun day.  Enjoy yourselves and stay safe out there!

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Written by saltyboatingADM

The bird club is living it up.

2023-07-26 Englewood

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