Speed boats are sports car on water. They are designed to go fast. But just like driving a fast car on the road, you have to maintain a good level of safety for you and the passengers on board.
1. Before setting out to the open water, check the boat and be sure that it is proper working order. Fix any mechanical problem that needs to be fixed. Check and test if the radio is working. This way, if something happens to you while in the middle of the sea, you can radio the Coast Guard for help. Fuel up. The last thing you want is to hand your fate on the mercy of the water current.
2. Waves and alcohol don’t mix. Drinking and boating is as dangerous as drinking and driving. Alcohol impairs your vision, judgment and proper senses. It reduces your time to react on certain emergencies. And if you are caught driving intoxicated, you will get a fine. If you own the boat, set a rule that no alcohol gets on board the boat and no one gets on the boat intoxicated.
3. It is quite unfortunate the many people don’t know how to swim. But this should not be the reason to prevent a friend or a relative from boarding the boat. Make sure that the persons who do not know how to swim wear a lifejacket once they get onboard.
4. Speaking of lifejacket, do not leave the port without ensuring that the number of your lifejacket is equal or more than the number of persons onboard. It is also a good practice to outfit each person on board with lifejacket whether they can swim or not. Make sure that your lifejackets are not outdated and not dry-rotted.
5. Never leave without a fire extinguisher. Not because you are surrounded with water, it doesn’t mean that your boat with not catch fire. This is quite ironic but the fact is, fire can spread pretty quickly on your boat.
6. Take a boating safety course. In most areas, this is offered for free and can be finished within a day or two. It is a good idea to enroll yourself together with your entire family. Training programs are usually free and available in the city. But if you can’t find one, try looking online.
7. Yes, speed boats are designed to go fast but it doesn’t mean that you go crazy on speed and go full throttle all the time. Keep your sensibility in tact and always keep your speed in check. Make sure that you are running on a speed where you can still make split second decision. Slow down when you are passing through other boats. Take note that other boaters may not be able to see you in blinding sun and dark night. Keep within the water speed limit. All the rules in waterway should be followed. A good driver knows how fast is too fast and knows how the need to slow down.
8. Get a speed boat insurance. Assess your needs and get the right policy and coverage.
9. Keep your boat properly maintained. Routinely check for cracks, leaks and damages. Check the engine and make sure that it is in good running condition. Just like your car, your boat should have its own maintenance record.