Owning a small power boat is a dream of many Americans. The freedom of exploring the local waterways and spend quality time with family continues to make small power boats in FL a popular hobby for today’s families. Fishing, swimming, sunbathing, and tubing are great ways to spend leisurely weekends with family. However, ownership of small power boats also involve a number of responsibilities that these individuals take on when they decide to become a small boat owner:
Safety Equipment for Small Power Boats in FL
Owners of small power boats are required to keep a variety of safety equipment on board for emergencies. These include:
- Personal flotation devices (PFDs) – One PFD should be available for each person on board the boat. Children should be provided with child-size PFDs.
- Whistle – A whistle is used as an auditory notification of an emergency. The sound must carry at least one nautical mile.
- Visual distress signal light – In some states day/night flares are required to have on board.
- Fire extinguisher – Optional equipment. You want to check your local laws to see if they are required.
- First aid kit – A small first aid kit can be helpful, check state laws to see if it is required.
Boat owners should always check weather-reporting agencies carefully before setting out. If bad weather is expected, they should postpone their outing for another day. Avoid getting caught on the water in heavy rain and thunderstorms.
Safe Behavior In and Around the Boat
Boat owners have the responsibility to ensure that they are operating their craft safely and that passengers are always behaving in a manner that does not endanger themselves or others on the boat.
- Follow your small power boat operating instructions for recommendations about the proper number of people on board. Never overload the boat.
- Your passengers should be seated inside the boat while it is under way to prevent falling overboard and other accidents. Notify passengers when the boat is accelerating or turning to avoid accidental falls overboard.
- The operator of the boat must ensure that the boat’s engine and propellers are not running when swimmers are in the water at the rear of the boat.
- Stay alert for navigation aids on the water and reduce speed in no-wake zones.
- Owners should take particular care in unfamiliar waters, in which underwater objects or shallow water could present a hazard.
Alcohol and Other Substances
Alcohol is often a part of outdoor activities, socializing with friends and family. However, operators of the boat should avoid using alcohol or drugs, which can impair their ability to react quickly in a hazardous situation. Impaired driving is a cause of many boating accidents, so for the sake of yourself, your family and your guests, avoid all use of these substances when you are captaining your craft.
Small power boats in FL can be a source of fun and wonderful memories with family and friends. Keeping these safety tips in mind will ensure that all your adventures on the water are happy ones. Contact us today to come in and see the latest CriagCat models.