If you are a boat owner you have probably already noticed that your popularity dramatically increases during boating season. Once the warm weather hits, friends and family will be coming out of the woodwork looking forward to a day on the water. You don’t mind though because the more the merrier! However, you should consider these tips before boating with a large party.
Tip #1: First and foremost, determine the capacity of your boat and don’t try to push it. Putting more weight on your boat than it can handle could cause serious damage and safety issues.
Tip #2: Make sure your guests are clear on the rules and requirements of the boat. This doesn’t have to be a formal contract by any means, but it is important for you to bring it to their attention.
Tip #3: Ensure you have enough life jackets for each of your guests. If you do not own that many, locate a Sea Tow Life Jacket Loaner Station near you.
Tip #4: Coordinate with your guests on who will bring snacks, water, sunscreen and other essentials. Verify everyone brought what they were assigned before leaving the dock. There is nothing worse than getting out into the water only to realize Bob forgot to pick up water bottles.
Tip #5: Confirm if anyone plans to bring their dogs and consider if there is enough room on the boat. Make sure someone is watching the dogs at all times and don’t forget water/snacks for them too.
Tip #6: If you have more than one boat along for the ride, make sure you do not follow behind too closely. To be safe, stay at least 100 ft. behind the boat in front of you.
Tip #7: Make sure you know how to correctly raft up with the other boats in your fleet. You don’t want your boats to scrape against each other or worse, float away.
Tip #8: If you are planning to include alcoholic beverages in your cooler along with water, be sure to designate at least one Sober Skipper on each boat to ensure everyone gets to and from the raft-up safely. The Sober Skipper is also important to ensure that someone is watching out for their friends and family during the day to ensure safety and proper hydration so that every has a FUN and safe day.
Do you often enjoy taking a lot of people out on your boat? If so, share some of your tips below in the comments.