Safety at Sea

Safety On Board a Sailing Boat

Safety on board a sailing charter needs to be a high priority. It is beneficial to incorporate safety into every action that is likely to take place on board.

Safety On Board a Sailing Boat

To remain safe, you really need to understand and include: preparation, planning, anticipation, and situational awareness, practice, and seamanship skills.

It doesn’t matter if you are borrowing, hiring, or own a sailing or motor-driven boat prior to leaving port it is highly advisable to inspect the vessel to ensure it is properly equipped and in a full working order. A boating vacation should be hassle-free, safe and fun. If able to cut the possibility of being left a victim of a stranded boat, there is a much higher chance that the trip will be that much more enjoyable. An inspection can start with looking over the hull for signs or cracks or similar damage. If the vessel is equipped with an inboard or outboard motor, check that the steering and throttle is able to operate smoothly. Also, make certain that the fuel and oil levels are at a sufficient volume to last the planned trip.

Beyond giving the vessel a visual inspection, a pre-departure checklist is also likely to be helpful for avoiding any potential dangers or inconveniences whilst out on the open waters.

A standard checklist is likely to include the following:

  • What is the expected weather forecast for the duration of the trip?
  • Are you likely to experience any local boating restrictions or hazards?
  • Do you have access to local charts and maps?
  • Is there a sufficient supply of lifejackets for those on board?
  • Does the safety equipment appear to be in full operational condition?
  • Are the electronic devices like the depth sounder and VHF radio working satisfactorily?
  • Is the vessel equipped with a well-packed first aid kit?

Also, when planning on going on a sailing charter trip, you really want to make certain that you are able to let someone know the planned itinerary for the trip, which is highly beneficial should you experience difficulties at sea and unable to return in line with the sail plan.

Navigation skills

Safety on board a sailboat is certain to relate to the navigation skills and experience of the skipper. Use a Chartplotter or similar instrument to help mark the precise course to help with minimizing potential dangers. A well-experienced skipper is more likely to be in a position of being safe while sailing compared to a complete novice. An ability to navigate on the open waters can also be improved with books, attending boat courses, or even using the wide-ranging apps that are now available on the market.

Before setting out

Before setting out on a voyage make sure to fully appreciate the limitations of the skipper/crew on board the sailing boat. Make sure the boat is equipped to complete the intended trip and has the proper supplies and safety equipment. Plot the course before leaving port to minimizing potential hazards on the way. Also, have a means of navigating safety in the event of the GPS malfunctioning.

Safety at Sea

Boating Courses: Why Enroll in the Boating Safety Courses (Starter or Refresher)

Safety courses are ready to give tuition to motor-driven boats, sailing boats, and PWC users, and it doesn’t matter the skill level of the person starting on the course because they are open to the complete beginner and progress through to the most advanced and knowledgeable.

Life Safety Ring

They are essential for developing a variety of must-have skills relating to boating and navigation. And it is likely to be a choice of learning in a classroom environment or taking part in an online study course.

Boating safety courses are all-inclusive and cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Boat handling: small boat safety, towing a skier, using an anchor, docking, “man” overboard, leaving a jetty, getting started, fueling your boat, and jet drives.
  • Plus, this section is likely to give an overview of boating rules, such as risk of collision, rules for special vessels, boat traffic services, and stand-on or give way, traffic separation, conduct in narrow channels, basic considerations, and responsibility.
  • Power the boat: learn about the types of marine engines, sprint fit-outs, maintenance, batteries, cooling systems, flame arresters, ignition systems, induction systems, and propellers.
  • Boating equipment: the boat’s equipment, requirements for your boat, accident reports, substance abuse, and legal considerations.

Wide-ranging learning

A variety of courses are offered to the boating enthusiast aiming to enhance their seamanship, safety knowledge, and boating skills. A boating safety course might also consist of a PWC (also referred to as a Jet Ski or Waverunner) safety, understanding nautical charts, and GPS navigation. Many of the courses are tutored by an experienced yachts person to ensure a high level of teaching is provided.

Beyond the adult-orientated boat handling and safety courses, a variety of classes are offered for the younger boating enthusiasts, like those aged in the region of four to 12-years old.

Invest the time and resources into boat safety courses before actually using the boat on the open water. Leaning to handing a sail or motor-driven motor isn’t a simple process. A student needs a willingness to learn, as well as put in the effort and time. Attending in-person or online courses makes it easier to abide by safety rules and handle yourself in emergency situations.

Where to take a boat safety course

There are a variety of choices when it comes to signing up to a boat safety course, including:

  • Check with the local state authorities to see what is available. Visit the official Department of Energy and Environmental Protection site. The department might vary state to state, but you typically want the department in charge of natural resources.
  • Visit the website of several well thought-of services that offer boating safety courses (see below). A variety of boat education services can provide this service.
  • Check with the Coast Guard Auxiliary office or the Coast Guard.

Whether using the online or in-person course, make sure a preferred course is state approved and complies with the local rules and regulations.

Boating safety courses online:

  • Boat Ed
    Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc.
    14086 Proton Road, Dallas, Texas 75244
    Tel: (800) 830-2268
  • BoatU.S.
  • American Boating Education
    PO Box 29, Mechanicsville, VA 23111
    Tel: (877) 677-2628
  • PWC Safety School

Benefits of a boat safety course

Even though it isn’t necessary to hold a boat safety certificate to get a boating license, there are still many reasons to look at signing up and completing one in the spare time.

Practical benefits of completing a boating safety and handling course:

  • Have knowledge of the local rules and regulations that apply on inshore and offshore waters.
  • Get a better appreciation of the environment and boating.
  • Get first-hand practice and supervision of the techniques and skill to control a boat.
  • Reduce the cost of the annual boat insurance.

On completion of a recognized boat safety or handling course it might well be possible to receive a discounted premium when it comes to arranging the marine insurance. Many of the insurance companies prefer courses associated with the NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators).

Investing in a well-rounded boat safety starter or refresher course goes a long way to preventing injuries or accidents, and makes certain a helmsman is that much more confident in handling a vessel at sea or mooring up.