Know your limitations and the limitation of your vessel
A person’s ability to operate a pleasure craft is negatively affected by the motion of a pleasure craft, sunlight, waves, wind, sound and/or alcohol/drugs. The areas affected include balance, coordination, reflexes, judgment, response time, eyesight and/or hearing. It is very important to know your limitations and the limitations of your boat before departing so you do not find yourself in an emergency situation. Depending on the circumstances, you may wish to alter or reschedule your trip.
Also, you should be familiar with the handling characteristics of your boat. (with special reference to stopping distances and turning ability)
Do not overload the craft, in excess of the “recommended gross load capacity” or the”equivalent number of adult persons” found on the capacity plate. (if applicable.)
Prior to departing make sure you get the latest weather information for your planned trip Also , you should ensure that you have your tide and current information on the area.
It’s a good idea to reference your charts and consult with some of the local boaters to get information on the local water hazards for that area. Local water hazards may impede the operation of a pleasure craft, which could increase the risk of causing injuries and loss of life to persons onboard .These local water hazards include:
- low-head dams
- sudden winds
- white water
- overhead cables
- underwater cables
- bridges or
- rapid build up of high wave condition
Just in case an emergency does occur, know were to take shelter can prove very beneficial. Again, check your charts or consult with the local boaters
Other Safety Precautions
You should ensure every person on board including the operator of a pleasure craft should always wear a PFD or lifejacket to prevent drowning.
Loading the Boat
Do not overload the craft, in excess of the “recommended gross load capacity” or the” equivalent number of adult persons” as found on the capacity plate. (if applicable)
Distribute the weight as evenly as possible and keep as low as possible. You should lash and stow all gear to prevent uncontrolled movement of the gear, which could damage the craft and/or the gear.