Top 12 Most Important Boating Safety Tips in Jacksonville, FL

May has a lot of fun holidays: Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. A favorite holiday is Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day (May 15) because it promotes the importance wearing a life jacket when you’re on the water. Keep your friends and family safe by following these boating safety tips.  


Before You Go Boating        

Schedule Maintenance For Your Honda Outboard

Our dealers and staff go through training and receive updates to tune-up their knowledge of the entire Honda outboard line. Honda Marine authorized dealers are ready to provide you with the highest level of service. Contact {{Dealer Name}} to schedule maintenance for your Honda outboard.


View Boating Safety Videos

Did you know that most boaters involved in accidents have never taken a boating safety course? The National Safe Boating Council provides online boating safety videos that teach basic navigation rules of boating. The Boat U.S. Foundation offers a free online boating safety course, including a free online boating safety course for each state.


Wear A Life Jacket

All boats must have a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket for every passenger on a boat, by law. Some states require children to wear a life jacket at all times. Try on the life jacket before buying it. Make sure it is the right fit for your height and weight and that it has a snug fit. Auto and manual inflatable life jackets require maintenance. Clip a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) onto each life jacket. Make sure that there are life jackets for all dogs who are on your boat. Rough water, bad weather or fatigue can potentially be dangerous for dogs, when they are swimming.

  

Fire Extinguishers

U.S. Coast Guard approved, marine-type fire extinguishers are required on boats where a fire hazard could be expected from the engines or fuel system. Check your fire extinguishers at least once a year to ensure they are properly charged, stored and undamaged. Make sure that everyone on your boat knows where it is and how to use it.


Pack Emergency Supplies

Pack emergency supplies on your boat and make sure that everyone on your boat knows where they are located: flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, VHF radio with a hail or public address function, a waterproof whistle and mirror that can be used to call for help and ropes. Ropes can be used to pull someone who has fallen overboard or for securing your boat to a dock.


Carbon Monoxide Monitors 

Carbon monoxide poisoning could unexpectedly knock anyone on the boat, unconscious. Make sure there’s a carbon monoxide monitor in every confined space on your boat. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless poisonous gas which is emitted by all combustion engines and onboard motor generators.


Check the weather forecast

Check the weather forecast for storms, lightning and high winds. The marine forecast includes wind direction and speed, wave height, precipitation predictions and storm warnings. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides marine weather forecasts through the National Weather Service. 


Download U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Mobile App

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has a Boating Safety Mobile App with information that is most frequently requested by boaters. Features of the app include: state boating information, file a float plan, free boating safety check requests, navigation rules, the latest weather reports from the closest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather buoys, request emergency assistance and much more.


File A Float Plan

It’s very important to file a float plan with a friend or relative, for every boating excursion. The Float Plan should have detailed information regarding the location of where you’re boating and the time you are planning to return.


Protect Against Propeller Strikes

Make sure all passengers are accounted for before starting the engine. Wear your emergency cut-off switch at all times. When passengers are in the water, ask one person to propeller watch. 


While You Are Boating

Don’t Boat Under the Influence

Alcohol affects judgment, vision, balance and coordination. The U.S. Coast Guard data shows that in boating deaths involving alcohol use, over half of the victims capsized their boats and/or fell overboard. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or drugs in every state. This law pertains to all boats, from canoes and rowboats to the largest ships. Consider these alternatives to using alcohol while boating: take bottled water, sodas, iced tea or lemonade in a cooler and plenty of food and snacks.  


Follow Navigation Rules

The Navigation Rules for vessels establish actions for boaters to take, to avoid a collision. The Navigation Rules are available in any boating supply store. It is mandatory that a copy of the Navigation Rules be kept aboard all vessels over 39.4 feet (12 meters) in length. Use the USCG Boating Safety Mobile app while you are boating.


Enjoy the boating lifestyle and remember that a safe boating experience is the best boating experience.


Refer to the Honda owner’s manual for additional maintenance information. Contact Tools For A Time, Inc., 11291 Old St Augustine Rd Jacksonville, FL 32257, (904) 260-8744 for servicing and Honda Marine Accessories.