At PowerHouse Marina, safe boating practices are important to us. And we strive to help our clients get the most of their boating experiences in the safest ways possible. Here are some tips to make sure your days on the water are just as safe as they are fun.
Boating Safety Courses
We needed to prove that we could safely drive a car before we got a driver’s license. And although we don’t have a “boater’s license” here in Florida, Florida law does require that anyone who was born on or after January 1, 1988 successfully complete an approved boating safety course and get a Boating Safety Education Identification Card from the FWC.
Conveniently, the BoatUS Foundation offers a free online course. After completion, you will still be required to get your identification card from the FWC, however.
There are things you must keep onboard at all times and you should make a checklist and go through it periodically.
U.S. Coast Guard approved life vests for each person onboard
First aid kit
Ropes -- these are good for securing your boat as well as pulling someone out who may have fallen overboard
Throwable flotation devices
Waterproof whistle or horn. Larger vessels should carry a bell for foggy situations
A fire extinguisher
A visual signaling device (for both day and night use if boat if over 16 feet)
Oars or paddles if engine quits
Snorkel and mask just in case you need to inspect under the boat
Heavy quality flashlight
Way to get weather updates
A Float Plan
Make sure you’ve shared your float plan with another person who won’t be with you. This way, if something happens and you aren’t where you’ve said you were going at a specific date and time, that person can get emergency assistance. A downloadable U.S. Coast Guard float plan can be located here.
Know Your Propeller Safety
Propellers are necessary to move your boat. But they can cause incredible damage if you haven’t taken proper precautions. The Coast Guard puts out an informative brochure on propeller safety that every boater needs to read. You can find a PDF here.
Check the Weather
We know that weather in South Florida can change quickly. Have a good weather app on your cell phone and check if often. Look for signs of impending weather moving in like chopper water or wind gusts.
Check for Fumes
After filling your tank, open all the hatches and check for fumes. Carbon monoxide and fuel fumes can accumulate and be hazardous in areas that are not well-ventilated and enclosed, in a blocked exhaust system or caused by nearby boats.
Don’t Overload Your Boat With People or Equipment
Always follow your boat’s capacity guidelines to avoid overloading or imbalance.
Here at PowerHouse Marina, we are all about happy, healthy and safe boating practices. Enjoy your time on the water and stay safe at the same time. Have boating questions? We have the answers. Call us at (305) 892-2628.