For many boaters, the winter season means storing their boat and waiting for warmer weather so they can get back on the water. Luckily, the Spring boating season brings warmer weather and an inviting cool breeze for all boaters.
This article will give you some helpful tips to get the most out of the Spring boating season.
1. Refresh Your Boating Knowledge Before the Spring Boating Season
The best time to refresh your boating knowledge is during the winter season. You will have plenty of time to spend indoors and participate in either local or online training courses. If you are interested in refreshing your boating knowledge before the Spring boating season, visit the U.S. Coast Guard website, where they have many options for boating knowledge courses.
2. Ensure You Have All the Required Safety Equipment
If you are unsure about what equipment you will need before the Spring boating season, we suggest you check out the book by the U.S. Coast Guard called “A Boater’s Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats.” This book will give you everything you need to stay on the right side of the law. You can find the book at marinas and marine retailers.
3. Additional Equipment You Will Need
Even if the equipment is not required by law, it will still help keep you safe. On top of what is required by law, we recommend getting an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon or EPIRB. An EPIRB is a great resource when you are far from shore. The EPIRB provides a homing signal and GPS coordinates in the event you need to be rescued.
4. Schedule a Free Vessel Safety Check
An important thing to do before the Spring boating season is to have your vessel inspected by a trained professional. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons provide free annual vessel inspections. You can visit the Vessel Safety Check website to schedule your appointment.
5. Ensure Your Life Jackets are Undamaged and Still Fit
It is important to remember that children and pets continue to grow, and it is common for adults to lose or gain weight after the holiday season. Because of this, we recommend that before you get out on the water this Spring boating season, you make sure that all your lifejackets fit yourself and your family.
6. Don’t Forget the Condition of Your Trailer
It can be easy to forget about your trailer when all your attention is focused on your boat. Before heading out in the spring, you must ensure that your trailer is up to the safety code. Check the condition of your frame, the tires and spares, and the functionality of the tail and backup lights.
7. Make Sure Key Equipment on Your Boat Work Properly
Before your first outing this Spring, there are two simple checks you can do to make sure your essential equipment is working correctly.
• First, you need to lift the engine hatch or outboard cowling to look for leaks from loose hoses or other causes.
• Next, check all fuel line connections and the carburetor base for leaks.
8. The Spring Boating Season can Bring Unexpected Challenges
One thing to consider before heading out to the water this Spring is how the shift of weather can bring dangerous and unexpected weather conditions. In addition, when the ice begins to melt on the lake, it can develop debris that can cause severe damage to your boat.
9. Warm Weather Does Not Mean Warm Water
An experienced boater will tell you that just because the weather is nice and warm doesn’t mean the water is. Water can remain cold for quite some time after the weather starts to get warmer. That is why we recommend you wear warm layers and bring extra clothes in the event of a sudden temperature change. You also need to ensure that your passengers are following proper safety procedures to ensure that they do not fall overboard.
10. Educate Your Passengers About Safety Procedures
You spent all that time taking courses and researching proper boating safety procedures, but now it is time to take that knowledge and share it with your passengers. You can do this by teaching them how to maneuver around your boat safely. Next, show them where all the emergency equipment is located and how to use the radio system. Finally, it would be best if you showed them how to make a safe recovery when someone falls overboard.
Where to Find Everything You Need to Know About Boating
With Spring just right around the corner, that time is coming to get back on the water and enjoy quality time with friends and family. To get the most out of your boat, you must stay informed on the best ways to enjoy your boat. If you are interested in learning more about having a safe and joyful Spring boating season, we encourage you to visit the Boating World website!