Celebrating special occasions on a boat is a summertime ritual that never goes out of style. Whether you are commemorating graduations, birthdays, anniversaries or just simply want to party, make sure you are equipped with these simple tips to ensure smooth sailing the entire season.
Filling up a boat to capacity with your closest relatives and friends may seem like a good idea. However, this plan could jeopardize the safety of guests and yourself. The Boat U.S. Foundation reports that every boat is equipped with “U.S. Coast Guard Maximum Capacity” plates to help determine “the maximum person’s capacity in pounds and maximum weight capacity [for] persons and gear.” Adhering to specific loading and capacity guidelines set forth by the U.S. Coast Guard will ensure the boat maintains a proper load for operating.
Maintain Safe Electrical Equipment
Sound systems, decorative lighting, and small appliances are popular items used for boat parties. These items help create a memorable ambiance for guests. Reduce the risk of any potential fire hazards by inspecting the equipment for damaged wiring before use. Equipment with severe wear and tear should also be avoided. Making sure the equipment is not overloading the boat’s electrical circuits will also help in preventing fires.
Have Life Jackets and an Emergency Kit Ready
Whether guests will be enjoying scenic views from the boat or participating in water activities, make sure there are life jackets along with an emergency kit at the party. There should be enough life jackets for each attendee and they should fit properly. Refer to the U.S. Coast Guard recommendations for life jackets to guarantee proper use. Having an emergency kit on board containing first aid items will prepare the boat for any minor accidents that could occur.
Review Your Boating Insurance Policy
Dreams of a boat gathering could diminish without having the proper boating insurance policy. Examine your policy and make sure everything is up to date. Bankrate acknowledges that boaters often forget about policy coverage dates and use their boats during periods of non-coverage known as “lay up” periods. These instances are dangerous considering accidents can occur at any time. Make sure you’re aware of the coverage period before setting sail. Knowing your insurance policy navigation limits are helpful in determining which travel zones are permitted. Boat insurance plans cover only certain waterways based on boat size. Check your insurance policy every boating season to make any necessary policy changes.
With a few precautions, you can host a boat party knowing everyone will be safe. Get out there and celebrate!
By: Sarita Starks