Boating Lake County Blog

Boat­ing Tips to Make your Out­ing Enjoyable

Family Boating

Spring is here and it’s time to start prepar­ing for the upcom­ing boat­ing sea­son. We’ve checked off some essen­tials on safe­ty. Just fol­low these few sim­ple pre­cau­tions with care — and delight in your time spent on the boat with fam­i­ly and friends.

1. Pay Atten­tion and Be Aware.

The sim­plest safe­ty tip can also be the hard­est to fol­low. The aver­age boater should real­ize that that main cul­prit behind boat­ing acci­dents is — Inat­ten­tion. Stay mind­ful of oth­er boaters, skiers, inner tubers, and any­one else in the water by keep­ing a safe dis­tance. Fol­low the direc­tions post­ed on signs and observe the boat­ing rules estab­lished by the local author­i­ties or prop­er­ty own­ers. Keep your wake low when near oth­er boats, swim­mers, or the shore.

2. Have Life Jack­ets for Every­one Aboard

Life jack­ets save lives; it’s that sim­ple. They should be Coast Guard approved, in ser­vice­able con­di­tion and fit the intend­ed user. Mod­ern life jack­ets are also thin, flex­i­ble and com­pact. It’s always a good idea to wear one, so have them on deck and ready. AND, if you’re under the age of 12 — you must wear a life jack­et at all times.

3. Take a Boat­ing Safe­ty Class

Know­ing the basic and fun­da­men­tals of boat­ing is key. Cours­es con­sist of a min­i­mum eight hours of instruc­tion, cov­er­ing the basics of boat­ing safe­ty, require­ments, nav­i­ga­tion, reg­is­tra­tion and titling, emer­gency mea­sures and the Illi­nois boat­ing laws. You have many options, includ­ing Coast Guard Aux­il­lary, Pow­er Squadrons, and Fox Water­ways. They offer a vari­ety of cours­es for novice and expe­ri­enced boaters, and also per­form Ves­sel Safe­ty Checks.

4. Per­form a Pre-Board Safe­ty Check

Hav­ing a list ready makes for an easy and effi­cient way to not miss any­thing. Here are some safe­ty musts:

  • Check your fuel and oil.
  • Run an Elec­tron­ic Check and make sure all devices are good to go.
  • Run the blow­er for at least one minute before start­ing the engine.
  • Have a fire extin­guish­er, flares and first aid kit on deck.
  • Don’t for­get your registration.

Sur­vey the weath­er before set­ting sail — as well as your des­ti­na­tion fore­cast. ALWAYS bring a radio and keep your eyes open once you’re on the Lakes. If you notice dark skies, sud­den winds and the begin­ning of the Per­fect Storm — get off the water, and fast.

If you pre­pare for the unex­pect­ed, fol­low these safe­ty tips; you’re ahead of the game. Just remem­ber to inform all guests of best-safe­ty prac­tices, lim­it alco­hol con­sump­tion, keep your cool in any sit­u­a­tion— and it’ll be smooth sailing.

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