Boating Lake County Blog

Boat­ing with non-boat­ing guests

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Boat­ing: that first-time experience

The plea­sures of boat­ing in Lake Coun­ty are meant to be shared with fam­i­ly and friends. There’s excite­ment and a sense of free­dom that only an on-water excur­sion can bring. With a bit of advance plan­ning, you can share with your first-time boaters and guests, a sure-to-be exhil­a­rat­ing and mem­o­rable expe­ri­ence that only boat­ing can bring.

When invit­ing folks for a day on the water, it’s a good idea to find out in advance if any have boat­ed before. If this is a first-time expe­ri­ence, or an over­due refresh­er for some, a few quick basics can make everyone’s adven­ture even more enjoyable.

THE GUEST: WHAT TO BRING

Swim­suit and change of clothes
Tem­per­a­tures can vary great­ly on the water from morn­ing to evening, so bring a mix of options, all that fold-and-go eas­i­ly, with­out too much space.

Hat, sun­glass­es, and sun­screen
New boat­ing enthu­si­asts may not real­ize how intense the sun reflect­ing off the water and boat inte­ri­or can be. Keep pro­tect­ed and covered. 

Small bag/​backpack for stor­age
The empha­sis is on small. Space can be tight in a boat’s water­tight com­part­ments, so don’t bring any­thing that isn’t tru­ly need­ed and could get wet.

Flip-flops or boat shoes
Hard soles, dark soles or sneak­ers full of grit can scuff, scratch and gouge a deck and inte­ri­or. Dress for comfort!

What NOT to bring
Stay away from foods that may melt or not store well. Large cool­ers, glass con­tain­ers, plas­tic gro­cery bags (that can fly away) and spray sun­screen (which can leave a sticky film on the boat) should be left on shore.

SHARE THE SAFE­TY BASICS

Mov­ing on the boat
Always have two feet and at least one hand in con­tact with the boat at all times. Guests should stay seat­ed and arms and legs should stay inside the boat. No jump­ing over­board with­out ask­ing first.

Per­son­al floata­tion devices (PFD)
Put on PFDs (life jack­ets) before get­ting under­way. Kids 12 years of age and under are required to wear a life jack­et at all times. Find out who among the group can’t swim or feels they may need assis­tance and have them put on a life jack­et. Check each other’s jack­ets for a prop­er fit.
If an out­ing with kids is planned, find out each one’s age, height and weight pri­or, and make sure you have PFDs that will fit (or have them bring one along). Adult life jack­ets are not suit­able for use by children.

In the water
There’s lots of activ­i­ty on the water — water­ski­ing, tub­ing, swim­ming and more. Be sure to explain the required pro­ce­dures and sig­nals for on-water activ­i­ties and to be aware of surroundings.

RESPON­SI­BIL­I­TIES OF THE BOAT HOST

Make sure your ves­sel is in good order and prop­er­ly fueled.

Have a float plan. Make sure that some­one on shore knows where you are at, how to get in con­tact with you and your destination.

Bring a copy of your boat registration.

Avoid food items that could poten­tial­ly cause stains (red juices, pop­si­cles, cola, etc).

Always have a com­mu­ni­ca­tion device on hand (cell­phone, VHF radio).

Com­mu­ni­cate fre­quent­ly with guests on your boat to avoid poten­tial safe­ty issues.

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