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Boating Tips
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One of the best parts about summer is being able to spend a beautiful day on your boat. A great day on the water can get ruined, though, if the right measures aren’t taken to keep everyone on board safe. To help keep you and your family safe on the water this summer, we’ve come up with these five tips for boating safety.

1. Check the day’s forecast

Nothing’s worse than getting stuck in the middle of a downpour while you’re out on your boat. Severe weather on the water can put boats and boaters in danger. Avoid getting stuck in bad weather by checking the day’s forecast to see what’s in store and listening to a radio to keep track of changing conditions once you’re on the water. NOAA is a great resource for boaters. They provide a lot of marine forecast information for larger lakes as well as local weather reports.

2. Have enough life jackets for each person on board

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 90% of drowning victims involved in boating or water accidents would have survived had they worn a life jacket. Protect yourself and everyone on your boat by having enough life jackets for everyone. Not only will everyone on board be safe, but you’ll also be following the law.

In the state of Michigan, children younger than 6 need to wear a Type I or Type II PFD while on board, and anyone operating, riding, or being pulled by a personal watercraft must wear a Type I, Type II, or Type III PFD. Also, all boats less than 16 feet have to have one Type I, II, or III PFD for each person on board.

3. Avoid alcohol

Just like with driving, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol can put you in serious danger. Boating under the influence can not only lead to bodily harm for you and your passengers, but it can also bring expensive fines, revocation of your boating license,, or jail time. The U.S. Coast Guard suggests that everyone on board, from the boat operator to passengers, should abstain from alcohol while on the water, as drinking on board can lead to serious injuries and accidents.

4. Learn to swim

Even if you plan to wear a life jacket the entire time you’re out on the boat, it’s important to know how to swim. It can keep you safe should you find yourself in danger out on the water.

5. Take a boating course

While boating safety courses aren’t required for licensed adults, it never hurts to refresh your memory on the proper courses of action to take in emergency situations. You can either find classes in your area, or take a class online.

These tips will help protect you and your boat this summer, but you can get further protection by getting a boat insurance quote today from one of our knowledgeable agents.