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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