Highland Beach Boating Safety | 5 Tips To Stay Safe On The Water
This blog could and should be written for all of our respective Champagne & Parisi Real Estate websites. After all, as the preeminent waterfront and luxury Real Estate firm in the Boca Raton area, we work with lots of boaters and beach club enthusiasts. Many of our Realtors are enthusiastic boaters themselves, and thus like all of our community, benefit directly from the safe practices of responsible boaters. These 5 boating safety tips are mostly obvious, but sadly often ignored. Read on before starting your engines, and be sure to take these 5 safety tips into account, so your day on the shimmering blue waters of our coastline is all fun and no trouble.
Utilize a Kill Switch
A "kill switch" device is worn around the wrist of the helmsman aboard your boat, and is now required by federal law. Unlike most automobiles, it's much easier to lose control of your boat, and possibly your boat itself. The "kill switch" is now federal law, and is a wise precaution to take in all boating circumstances. On solid ground, our roads are only affected by what may befall them. The topography never truly changes, unlike the way that the slightest chop could impact the stability of your grip on the helm. In the unlikely but not altogether uncommon event that you or your helmsman loses their grip, the kill switch will immediately cut power to the engine, preventing a host of potentially dangerous situations.
Always Update and Maintain Your First Aid Kit
Much like a waterfront home, salinity, moisture, and sunlight can all lead to accelerated wear and tear on all exposed surfaces. Your first aid kit is no exception and should be updated, well-maintained, and prominently displayed for easy access. Be sure that you have the right supplies, enough of them, and prevent exposure moisture, saltwater, and sunlight. For common boating related injuries or medical incidents, learn more from your local boating instructors and through more experienced boaters, to ensure you have what you need to weather a troubling situation.
Check Hatches and Enclosed Spaces For Harmful Gases
Be sure to have updated and well-maintained emergency detection systems, such as your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors. When refueling your boat, be keen to notice any scent that may indicate a fuel leak, especially through invisible and sometimes undetectable gases. With boats that feature a cabin beneath the main deck, this is especially important, as more enclosed spaces can lead to more gas-related dangers.
Know Your Boat's Capacity
Your boat is only so big, and can only hold so much. We've seen too many comedic, but dangerous videos of pontoon boats lumbering through the chop and shedding supplies, and sometimes even a rider or two. Even though a pontoon boat, in particular, may resemble a living room on the water, there are serious concerns to overstuffing your party barge - namely the lack of solid ground and exposure to the elements. Sarcasm aside, everything has its breaking point, and to imply that your boat can host hundreds if not thousands of pounds more than your capacity is no smarter than stuffing 6 people in a Lamborghini and driving through the rain.
Be Prepared For Hurricanes
We don't expect anyone to be purposefully foolish enough to take their boat out in the midst of a hurricane. However, this is less about letting out your inner pirate captain, and more about how you prepare your boat for the roiling seas that earmark a hurricane. Boat security is a consistent concern, whether it be to prevent theft or protect your favorite vehicle from the rigors of nature. You should always moor your boat and prepare your dockage as if a hurricane is looming, as the best practices in an emergency lead to better day-to-day safety. When the storms come, if inland warehousing isn't available, be sure to know everything you need about how to moor your boat, the integrity of the dock you're moored to, and clear anything from the deck of the boat that may be carried by wind. A single loose bolt could lead to massive wreckage - so be sure to do your homework!
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