With boating season in full swing, now is the best time to get out there and enjoy the water. Whether you plan to visit your favorite getaway or discover new locations, there are a few tips we can share to help you get the most out of your time. Remember, the most important things about boating are safety and enjoying yourself with your family and friends. In this article we will discuss plans you can make and what to consider when making them, offer some suggestions to get the most out of your time on the water, and even help you to update your boat. Why wait, let us jump right in.
Create a vacation they will remember
Being out on the water is a great opportunity to make memories. From the change in environment to the places you will go and see, just about everything is different from our everyday lives. This is what makes boating an excellent choice for family trips. Take out your significant other and the kids or get a few close friends together and create an adventure to remember. A simple thing like exploring a small local island or finding a secluded beach can make an average day into something special. Do not be afraid to discover new waters but do it the right way. That means research and safety. Using a satellite map program can help you to determine if an area is appropriate or not. If you have never put your boat in at a given lake or beach, use the map to learn about the area and get a better idea of what’s around. This will help you discover areas you would not have noticed otherwise. You may just find your new favorite spot.
With that being said, when exploring new waters, it is a good idea to keep safety in mind. This means that you should be aware of the closest hospital to your destination location and look up any local emergency numbers and store them in your phone. The three minutes it can take you to find out where the hospital is in an emergency could save a life if you already have the information handy. The bottom line is to be aware of your surroundings, in this case, even before you get there.
Below we will run through some of the more important things to keep in mind that people tend to overlook. These are just suggestions, and you should feel free to expand on this list and add your own.
Test life jackets - Life jackets do nothing if they do not fit snugly on the individual wearing them. They should also be free of tears, rips, or other signs of damage. We cannot stress this one enough. If you are going to have people on your boat, make sure that you have properly fitting life vests and that they are in good shape. For a more detailed explanation of the different types of life jackets available, click here.
Use a float plan – A float plan is a form that explains where and when you will be on the water and who will be with you. People do not seem to understand just how important float plans are. They may be the only way that rescuers are able to find you in the event of an emergency. They take just a few minutes to fill out and can save lives. Take the time and fill one out. You can thank us later. Find a printable float plan here
Choose destinations carefully – When selecting a new location to take your boat out, do some careful research into the area. The last thing that you want is to drive two hours away only to find out that there is a festival or event, and the area is overcrowded. Some places can get so crowded that they will begin to turn people away. By spending a bit of time researching an area before heading there you can not only prevent disappointment, but you may find something you weren’t looking for.
Don’t overload your boat – This is another no-brainer. If your boat can safely hold six people do not put eleven people in there. It is just a bad idea all the way around. Overloading your boat puts everyone in your boat in danger. Beyond that, it put other boaters in danger as well as your boat may not be able to properly navigate the waters if your boat is carrying too many passengers. Just do not do it.
Pay attention to other boaters – Just like the road, we have to share the waterways. Knowing the rules of operation is not enough. You need to be constantly aware of not only your surroundings but other boaters as well. This simple act can help prevent accidents and keep you and your friends and family safe. It really is as simple as paying attention.
Do not drink and operate a boat – Drinking and boating claim lives every year. Lives that were cut tragically short when they did not need to be. This is one of those things that people tend to think “won’t happen to them”. The truth is, it can happen to anyone which is why it is so important to make sure that you never operate a vehicle on land or on water if you have been drinking. It is such a blatant bad decision.
Before you go, let us spend a few minutes and quickly discuss a few simple updates that you can make to your boat this boating season that will help you to get the most out of your time on the water. Here are a few quick recommendations if you are looking for some simple enhancements.
Battery cable assemblies - A high-quality assembly is a must in any electrical system with a harsh environment. For example, the marine environment is not a forgiving one, and your batteries and cables will be exposed to vibration, moisture, corrosion, and more. When an assembly is built with longevity in mind it is built to handle the harshest environmental conditions. Find your new battery cable assemblies here.
Switches - Many switches are simply binary devices with an on position and an off position. As simple as this process sounds, there are a vast range of electrical switches out there, each serving a specified task or having been built for specific applications. Most are easy to replace and can offer some serious benefits on your boat. See more about switches here.
Switch covers - Switch covers are available in a range of shapes and sizes to meet the various needs of different industries. The switch covers in particular that we will be looking at are built for use with Contura rocker switches. These switch covers are known for their large variety of visual indication options and their ease of installation. Find your new switch covers here.
Panel blanks - A marine rocker switch panel, or panel blank as we will call it, are custom-sized manufactured panels that are ready to be loaded with breakers, marine rocker switches, and more. Pacer Group currently manufactures three different styles of panel blanks, each designed to serve a particular function, and each available in a range of sizes. Learn more about panel blanks here.