Before starting, check the safety requirements for the boat

Andy Whitcomb

Various aspects related to the safety requirements of the boat arise long before the trailer is even connected. Monitoring the weather forecast ensures that you and your passengers do not have to take the risk of battling strong winds, rain or lightning strikes, such as those caused by sudden thunderstorms.

Another boat safety consideration before traveling is to do your homework to identify and research possible water hazards. Is the lake notorious for shallow boulders like Folsom Lake in California? Has the water risen in this reservoir to hide stumps? Or did the water fall to expose “new” rocks in the river that make canal navigation difficult? It’s also a good idea not to boot alone. At least let someone know where you are going and when you are likely to return.

Legal requirements for boat safety equipment vary by state and the size of the boat and body of water. However, all of them include life jackets, signaling devices, a first aid kit, an extra rope, an VHF radio or at least a mobile phone and a fire extinguisher as core components. When I renewed my boat registration, I received a handy “boat manual” that was full of the official state safety requirements for boats. For example, it gave definitions of “safe operation” in terms of speed, areas and conditions, including Department of Homeland Safety boat safety requirements such as: B. Warnings to avoid some dams from getting too close.

Before hitting the water, review the boating equipment checklist. Then check again. You don’t want to find out that you have overlooked any component of your boating safety needs when out on the water and it may be too late. No matter how big the fish bite, it’s not worth the risk. Better to cancel the trip and stay safe to return and fish another day.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fishery research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and in the US state of Michigan.