Safety should always be a top priority on boating excursions. Learn about a boating safety mobile app, a free online boating safety course and more boating safety tips.

1.  Wear Life Jackets

All boats must have a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person 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. 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.
New law in Texas you have to have your kill switch lanyard attached when underway


2.  Be Prepared For An Emergency

• Everyone on the boat should wear a life jacket

• Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with a clip, that can be clipped onto a life jacket

• First aid kit

• Very High Frequency (VHF) radio with a hail or public address function

• Flashlight and extra batteries

• A mirror that can be used to signal help

• Fire extinguisher. Make sure that everyone on your boat knows where it is and how to use it

• A waterproof whistle can be used to call for help

• Ropes can be used to pull someone, who has fallen overboard or for securing your boat to a dock

3. Take A Boating Safety Course

There are several online boating safety courses available, including a few free courses. Check out the BoatUS Foundation for a free online boating safety course developed for each state.

4. Download USCG Boating Safety Mobile App

The U.S. Coast Guard 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 safety regulations, request emergency assistance and much more.

5. Get Your Boat Checked

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary performs a vessel safety check. A Vessel Safety Check is done at your boat and usually takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your boat. Some boating insurance agencies offer discounts for vessels which undergo a Vessel Safety Check annually. Fifteen minutes could save your life and the lives of your family.

6. Check Weather Forecast

Check the weather forecast or shorecast 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. The forecast is updated at least four times a day.

7. Check For Dangerous Fumes

After refueling your boat, open all the hatches and smell for fumes. If detected, do not start the engine. Carbon monoxide 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.

8. 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.

9. 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 about where you’re boating and the time you will return.

10. 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. Contact {{Dealer Name}} to schedule maintenance for your Honda outboard.

Refer to the Honda owner’s manual for additional maintenance information. Contact Boat Dockter, 7650 Park Road 4 W Burnet, TX 78611-6014, (512) 756-5000 for servicing and Honda Marine Accessories.

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