At our vessel documentation site, our main concern is, of course, vessel documentation. That said, we want everyone who goes out on the water to be as safe as possible. Safe boating is everyone’s responsibility. That’s true in the summer months, but it may be even more important during the winter months as well. By the time February rolls around, so many of us who relish recreational boating may be going a bit “stir crazy,” so we rush out on the water during an unseasonably warm day just to be out there. That said, our Coast Guard portal site compiled some safety tips to keep in mind so that you can enjoy boating in February, March, April, and many months to come.
Coast Guard Portal
It’s always important to have a float plan. Letting someone know where you’ll be on the water, how long you’ll be there, when you’ll be back, and more, is always crucial for safe boating. It can be even more important during the winter months, as there will most likely be fewer boaters on the water in general. On top of that, you may want to consider having a bit of a “fire drill” with passengers before you head out. Even if it’s just verbal, make sure that everyone knows what to do if there’s a fire, if someone goes overboard, and some other disasters.
Dress Properly, but Think About Cotton
Dressing in layers is a great idea when cold weather boating, but can be an even better idea when doing so in February. In late winter months like these, it can feel like winter one moment, spring the next, and then winter again the moment after that. So, by having multiple layers, you can adjust your clothing to fit the environment. That said, you may want to be wary about having cotton. Cotton can absorb water quickly, thus reducing your body temperature quicker too, especially when compared to other materials. As always, you want to wear clothing that, even at all of your layers, will fit comfortably underneath a personal floatation device (life jacket).
“One Hand for You, One Hand for the Boat”
This is an old phrase that basically means: “move carefully on a boat.” Even on the safest, steadiest boat, it can go from side to side. The tide can (literally) turn, the wind can pick up, and so forth. By keeping one hand on the boat for balance at all times (when moving around) you can give yourself the best chance to stay centered, safe, balanced, and not fall into the water.
A Coast Guard Portal That’s Always Open
Hopefully, where you are, it’s warm and balmy, and you’re heading out on your vessel soon. However, if you’re like most of the people reading this in America, it’s probably pretty cold and chilly where you are right now. While that isn’t the best weather, it can be the best weather for filling out your vessel documentation. If you have any questions, we’re at: (866) 981-8783.