The opportunity of boating for fun is a unique and thrilling way of spending your weekend. It has a great blend of adventure, excitement, and joy that appeals to everyone.
However, boating trips are not as fitting as spending your vacation on land, where you can stop at the nearest convenience store to buy what you need. That is why it is important to prepare in advance than be sorry about not being equipped for the trip.
Here are the things you need to prepare for a weekend boating trip.
First things first: you have to make sure that your boat has the necessary permits before you set it out on the water. It is also important that you are legally authorized to operate your vessel. The last thing you would want is to be stuck in a moment with the authorities because of a lack of necessary documents.
Mode of Communication
Even while boating, it is essential to stay in close contact with families, friends, and the authorities, especially in case of an emergency. Be sure to have your mobile phones fully charged, not only to take snapshots of your experience but more importantly, for communication purposes. Mobile phones have been found to be an effective way to communicate up to 20 miles offshore. Also, don't forget to pack your charger or a power bank for charging.
If you have a sat phone, it is going to be useful for voice calls, emails, and knowing the weather at sea. This is a much more reliable method of communication than cellphones, and you can use it anywhere in the world, regardless of how isolated you are.
Accidents on the water can happen in a very short amount of time. For this reason, boating safety advocates recommend that everyone on board should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times while boating. In 2017, drowning was the reported main cause of death in 76 percent of all boating fatalities, and almost 85 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.
Even when you feel like the waters are calm and everything seems to be right you should be prepared and put on your life jacket. This simple floating device could mean the difference between you being safe and putting your life in danger.
An onboard fire is a very serious event. If you have no way of controlling the fire, you have no choice but to jump into the water. Though not all boats are required to carry a fire extinguisher, it is recommended that you do. Make sure to inspect your fire extinguishers monthly and that they are properly stored, charged, and working. Also, ensure that your fire extinguisher label shows that it is a United States Coast Guard-approved marine type device.
If a fire starts, you should be ready and not hesitate. Get the fire extinguisher, activate it, and direct it at the base of the flames with short bursts while sweeping from side to side.
First Aid Kit
As much as we attempt to handle things with care, accidents can still happen while boating. If you're miles away from shore and medical care, you can help yourself or those with you with a first aid kit.
A well-equipped first aid kit is useful in addressing incidents like cuts, sea sickness, and similar situations. Get a waterproof kit that includes gauze, bandages, scissors, latex gloves, cotton balls, isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, antiseptic lotion, painkillers, and tweezers.
Also, be sure that the kit you buy has an easy to read and understand instructions. Read the first aid book beforehand and be familiar with the procedures, so you'll be prepared in case of an emergency. In addition, it is recommended that you enroll in a Red Cross First Aid and CPR class, which will train you in treating an injured person on board, and in some cases, even save a life.
Obviously, this is just a short checklist of the things you would need to have to guarantee the safety of everyone on board. However, these are practical and essential items that you can't afford to miss as you pack for that weekend boat getaway.