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Many people like to take to the sea or river in their boat, but this is not as simple as simply launching the boat and jumping in. Boating can be dangerous if the necessary preparation is not carried out beforehand. Most experienced boatmen will only be too aware of the potential dangers when boating anywhere, but for the less experienced, awareness and necessary training may be lacking. This article will contain a few of things that need to be taken into account before hitting the water in a boat.
Although many people in the UK don’t generally just jump in a boat and go sailing, there may be times when the chance of a boat trip becomes very attractive. A hot sunny day and a friend with a boat is just one example of when ‘non-boating’ people could find themselves out on the water, but this doesn’t mean you should abandon common sense. The water can be dangerous, especially when a few drinks have been imbibed beforehand so it’s essential that someone takes charge. Although some of the precautions detailed below may seem obvious in the cold light of day, they may not come to mind when you are invited on an off the cuff boat trip.
Pre-Boating Checklist – The Essentials
- Lifejacket – Ok, they may be hot and somewhat cumbersome, but this is the single most important item to make sure you have before you go boating. The vast majority of boatowners will have their vessel equipped with lifejackets as standard but it is important to personally check before you get on the water. Also, make sure the lifejacket provided is fit for purpose, so try it on and check for signs of damage.
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- Ship Shape Vessel – The boat may look ok but is it mechanically sound? The skipper should know this but if the boat has been in storage for a period of time it should be checked thoroughly. For example, there are a number of outboard motors for sale at very competitive prices if the current engine has seen better days.
- Fuel – Having a jerry can of spare fuel is also very important, a fun day off the coast can quickly turn into a nightmare in the event of fuel running out. You can guarantee that the rescue services will take an extremely dim view of such an oversight.
- Water – Never, ever underestimate how much water you will need. Always take more than you think you will need. You might be surrounded by water but none of it is fit for human consumption. This is especially relevant on hot days and should be standard along with your sunscreen.
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The checklist above merely scratches the surface of what is needed for a safe and enjoyable boat trip. Be sure to buy safety equipment and any boat parts from an experienced specialist as they will always provide you with the necessary information to accompany your purchase. Bon Voyage!