As winter draws toward a close and spring approaches, the 2022 boating season is fast approaching. Soon enough, Canadian boaters will once again be able to join a fun day on the lake spent fishing, water skiing or just hanging out in the great outdoors.
While boating is a lot of fun, it can quickly become dangerous if appropriate safety measures aren’t observed. Crashes are a common occurrence while operating a boat and can lead to death by force of impact, by drowning or by hypothermia from cold waters. On average, over 100 Canadians die in boating accidents every year. Read on for some good boat safety tips that you can follow to make sure you don’t put yourself at risk the next time you’re out on the water.
Boating Guidelines to Keep You Safe
- Take Care of Your Engine – Operating a boat properly requires your engine to be functioning optimally. To keep your engine in good working order, it’s important to perform regular maintenance. After every trip on the water, whether at sea or on the lake, you should make sure to flush out your engine and to disconnect your fuel line so that your engine can burn through residual fuel in the carburetor. An improperly maintained engine can break down without warning, leaving you stranded on open water. Worse still, carbon monoxide might build up in your engine, which can knock you unconscious on the water and result in drowning. Whenever you refuel your boat, smell for fumes. If you smell something unusual, make sure to have a mechanic look at your boat before attempting to take it out on the water.
- Bring Some Life Jackets – Canadian boating law requires that you bring along at least one life jacket for every person on your boat. You may think you don’t need one but if your boat capsizes far out in open water, wearing a life jacket can save your life. It’s also important to make sure that the life jackets aboard your watercraft will properly fit everyone onboard. Most children will slip right through an adult-sized life jacket. Conversely, if most of your life jackets are fitted for child passengers, they’ll be worthless to adults onboard.
- Be Careful at Night – Many boaters love to take their boat out during summer evenings or even after dark. However, boat safety becomes doubly vital once the sun goes down because operating a boat is much more difficult at night, especially if it’s cloudy. Obstacles in the water might be invisible until you’re right on top of them and navigating using the shoreline may become nearly impossible. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t know an area very well, make sure your boat is docked by sunset.
- Watch the Weather – Operating a boat is easy enough on a sunny, windless day but, as any experienced boater should know, the weather can change on a dime. Be sure to check the forecast before putting your boat out on the water. If there’s a prediction of heavy rain, high speed winds or thunderstorms, it would probably be best to keep your boat docked for the day.
- Always Boat Sober – One of the key boating guidelines is to never operate a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Boating while intoxicated is responsible for an estimated 40% of boating deaths in Canada. While it might be fun to drink on the lake, be sure that the boat’s operator stays sober. A drunk boater is much more prone to collisions, and is also more likely to drown in the event that the boat capsizes.
Bring Your Boat Ashore With Roll-n-Go
When a long day of boating comes to an end, Innovative Outdoors’ Roll-n-Go On-Shore Docking System can make it a breeze to bring your boat ashore. Roll-n-Go is available in many different models to help boaters park watercraft of all sizes. Contact Roll-n-Go today if you would like to purchase one of our state-of-the-art boat docking systems to be used anywhere in Canada!