August Project: How to Boat Safely

As we get deeper into summer, the days get hotter and going to the lake seems like a better and better idea. Enjoying a hot summer day on a boat is a great activity when done safely. Here are some boating safety tips to help maximize your summer boating fun!

  • Travel only in areas open to your type of boat. If your boat could’ve been a stunt-double for Titanic, avoid shallow channels.

  • Carry a Coast Guard approved life vest for each person on board and operate at a safe speed. If someone flies off your boat going Mach 2, they’re going to need a life vest while they wait for you to notice and come back.

  • Make sure your trailer is in proper working order and that the lights work in addition to making sure your boat is securely fastened before traveling to your destination, because when you get to the lake you want your boat to get there too.

  • Don’t mix boating with alcohol or drugs. Boats are the cars of the water so, if you can’t drink and drive, then don’t booze and boat!

  • Be courteous to other boaters and launch/retrieve your boat as quickly as possible. Wait until you’re driving home to talk about how the fish you lost was going to be a world record.

  • Make sure you have enough fuel and oil for the entire trip. Otherwise, you better have a towrope and Michael Phelps somewhere on board.

  • Be sure to avoid sensitive areas, such as seasonal nesting or breeding areas. You wouldn’t want hawks cruising through your living room, would you?

  • You don’t want to turn your lake into the Gulf, so take every precaution to not spill fuel into the water when fueling.

  • Before and after a trip, be sure to wash your gear, watercraft and support vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species. Remember to remove all plant material from the motor and rest of your watercraft as well as your trailer. Drain your live wells, bilge water and transom wells at the boat launch before you leave. Milfoil is the Swine Flu of lakes, so please do your part and help preserve our lakes.

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