Why Proper Boating Safety is Critical

Published June 25th, 2021 by Bernardo

Boating is one of Florida’s year-round pastimes, and though millions of people enjoy their time on the water without incident each year, Nautical Ventures does our part each year to keep it that way. That's why we participate in Boat Safety Week and spearhead other boating safety events during National Safe Boating Month in May. It's just one of the many ways we support those who make South Florida boating culture what it is.
We encourage you to participate in Boat Safety Week and learn more about boating safety—it will help keep you and your loved ones safe.

About Boat Safety Week

Each May is National Safe Boating Month, culminating in Boat Safety Week during the last week of May (and beginning on the third Saturday). The timing is deliberate, aimed at encouraging greater boating safety right when boating activity picks up during Memorial Day, typifying the start of the summer boating season.

Boat Safety Week involves boating safety classes and campaigns to share timely boating safety tips. During that time, Nautical Ventures proudly curated and sponsored resources related to boat safety equipment, procedures, and safety maintenance tips for all types of boats and personal watercraft (PWC).

Boating Safety Equipment You'll Want to Have

The first thing on your boat safety list should be emergency equipment. Consider the following boat safety equipment essential to the extent they'll fit on a boat of any size (the items marked with an asterisk are required by law}:

  • Personal flotation devices (PFD), aka life jackets, for each passenger*
  • Type IV thrown flotation devices, such as a ring buoy (preferably with an attached line)*
  • Fire extinguishers—at least one B-1 type for boats under 26 feet, and two B-1s and a B-2 fire extinguisher on boats between 26 and 40 feet*
  • Ditch kits packed with medical supplies, rations, and signaling devices
  • Extra drinking water
  • Survival rafts

When storage space is in short order, Nautical Ventures recommends the Throw Raft. It's an innovative survival raft that fits into a compact bag and auto-inflates on demand. It's completely reusable, and it can even fit on a kayak.

The signaling devices mentioned are critical to attract search and rescue. South Florida's coastal waters cover an enormous area, so to the extent you can, it's best to include all of the following:

  • Nighttime signals, strobe lights, and/or flares*
  • Safety flags or other daytime signals (mandatory for boats over 16 feet)*
  • Whistles, horns, and other emergency sound-generating devices*
  • Radio devices (essential for receiving weather updates—and a two-way radio is even better)
  • Onboard lighting
  • A reliable knife
  • Oars or paddles
  • A snorkel and mask for underwater troubleshooting
  • EPIRBs—a locator beacon that sends rescue signals via satellite (your phone will not be sufficient)

Also, be sure to use cut-off or kill switches if your boat has one. These became a legal requirement for boats under 26 feet built after April 1, 2021. A cut-off switch is essentially a lanyard between the boat captain and the ignition. If the captain falls overboard or strays too far from the controls, the lanyard disconnects and terminates the motor. You don't want your boat moving any further than necessary if the driver falls over or is otherwise incapacitated.

Fundamentals of Boat Safety

Naturally, much of boating safety hinges on a deep, shared understanding of the boat's function and controls. The more passengers who know the proper boating procedure for your specific boat, the better.

Also, remember that no amount of knowledge negates the need to stay sharp. Drinking while doing anything but anchoring in a safe harbor is not a good option. This also goes for passengers, who can endanger themselves and their crews if they make an unintended splash.

For any accidental falls, Boat Safety Week drills home the need for all boaters to keep their life jackets on. For comfort, inflatable PFDs are incredibly lightweight and won't encumber movement.

Boating Safety Courses

Newcomers should especially consider joining a class during Safe Boating Month, and experienced boaters can pursue more advanced training opportunities. So long as you remain confident in your abilities, you stand the greatest chance of ensuring a safe and happy experience, riding clear across the waves with your loved ones.

Helping Boating Enthusiasts in Florida Stay Safe Any Time of the Year

We're dedicated to boating safety throughout the year. That's why, with every boat purchase, we provide a boater safety bag containing an array of essential boat safety equipment. With this guide and any Boat Safety Week tips you hear, we encourage you to expand on your safety equipment further.

To kickstart your summer plans in style and protect your loved ones on the water, contact Nautical Ventures—the go-to people for fun on the water!

Check Out the Weekly Fisherman for More on Boating Safety and Tips

For more boating and fishing tips, listen to The Nautical Ventures Weekly Fisherman radio show every Saturday morning from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. live on 940 WINZ, an iHeart station. You’ll learn where the fish are biting and how to catch them. If you can’t tune in live, the Weekly Fisherman radio podcasts are available through:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-weekly-fisherman-show/id1117007850
Website: https://www.nauticalventures.com/TWF
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nautical-ventures
WINZ: https://940winz.iheart.com/featured/weekly-fisherman/about/
iHeart Radio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/53-weekly-fisherman-28270572/
You can also watch the show on Facebook Live by liking our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/The-Nautical-Ventures-Weekly-Fisherman-Show-136020173136939
You can watch past Facebook live shows at: https://www.facebook.com/The-Nautical-Ventures-Weekly-Fisherman-Show-136020173136939

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