Warm weather is on the way, which means you may be getting ready to take your boat out soon. Whether you use your boat for recreational or professional purposes, it is always vital to be as safe as possible. If you get into a boating accident, you may suffer injuries, financial hardships and emotional trauma. 

Even if you are a seasoned boater, you can always brush up on some safety guidelines. Check out the tips below to make sure you are operating your boat as safely as possible this spring. 

Bring safety gear

You cannot predict an accident or emergency, but you can be ready for one by keeping these essential items on board:

  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Duct tape
  • First aid kit
  • Ropes
  • Whistle
  • Bucket
  • Life jackets
  • Fire extinguisher

You should bring these items whether your boat is big or small. 

Watch the forecast

Warm and sunny days are exceptional for taking your boat out on the water. But you can never be too sure that the skies will stay clear. Keep an eye on the weather forecast before and during your trip so you can anticipate any changes. Cold temperatures, gusts of wind and rain can jeopardize your safety. 

Check for hazardous fumes

When you refuel your vessel, be sure to smell for fumes in the hatches. If anything smells strange, do not start the engine. Carbon monoxide can potentially accumulate inside the hatches and leak around your boat. This can suddenly cause you or anyone else on the boat to become unconscious. Other places where fumes may accumulate include canvas enclosures, enclosed spaces and blocked exhaust outlets.

Take a safety course

Operator mistakes account for approximately two-thirds of boat accidents. This is why it is always important to be familiar with the rules and your responsibilities. Consider taking a boating course to keep yourself informed and safe. There are plenty of courses available online.