Boating Safety Tips

For this week’s safety tips, we turn to our assistant general manager Tanner Kennedy!  No matter the weather, you can always find Tanner on his boat, fishing with friends and family.  Tanner has some excellent advice to help keep everyone safe and having fun while enjoying their time on the water:

It is that time of year when boat and personal water craft owners are out recreating on the water. If you are a boat owner, you should always put safety on the top of your priority list.  Here are some helpful tips to help you be as safe as possible on the water.


  • Carry the correct Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) for your boating application.  This must include one lifejacket/vest for each person on the boat and an approved throw able rescue device for a man overboard situation.  Here is a great link to help you determine the proper PFDs for your application.  Keep in mind, if you have the inflatable type life vests that are so common now and your vessel is inspected by the Coast Guard, they will only accept them as an appropriate PFD if they are being worn properly. If that is the only kind of PFD you have in your boat and you and your passengers are not wearing them, you will most likely be cited for not having proper PFDs on board.
  • Inspect all PFDs to make sure they are in good working condition.  Look for tears in the fabric, compression or deterioration of foam floatation and worn straps, buckles, etc.  Any PFDs that have any such damage should be disposed of and replaced with new ones. Never remove any of the sewn on factory tags from a PFD.
  • Make sure that you have a horn or other Coast Guard approved noise making device such as a whistle in your vessel. I personally have a built in horn, a whistle and a hand held air horn on my boat.River boat
  • Inspect your fire extinguisher regularly. The gauge should be in the green at all times. If it is not, replace it.
  • If you have an inboard motor in your boat, make sure you have an operational blower fan in your motor compartment and that the duct lines are hooked up correctly allowing any fuel fumes to escape the motor box/compartment. Make sure you run your blower at least a couple of minutes before you start your boat. This will evacuate any fumes that may be trapped in the motor compartment and reduce the chance of fire/explosion when the boats ignition is engaged.
  • Be alert and watch for other boaters and other hazards at all times.
  • Be courteous to other boaters, especially ones that may be on anchor. Remember, you are legally responsible for any damage that may be caused by your boat wake.
  • If you are following another boat, give yourself plenty of stopping distance. Remember you cannot stop a boat like you can stop an automobile.
  • Do not follow directly behind a boat that is towing a skier, wake boarder or another boat.

Have fun and enjoy your time on the water but always keep boater safety in mind when enjoying yourself on the water.