Safety Check for first time boaters
While I was reading the helment thread I thought this would be a helpful thread. I know its been covered in some of the other threads , but this one is all about safety.
What imput can you give some of the new boaters to make them feel at ease on there first few times out?
This could also help some of us oldtimers that have taken a few of the basic's for granted.
First and foremost, take a CG Auxiliary boating course. Next, go out with an experienced boater a few times to get some local knowledge and see how they do things. Also, make sure you know your boat and its systems, and have the tools, spare parts, and know-how to fix some of the more common problems that are likely to come up. Always check the weather--if in doubt, don't go. Finally, make sure you have all the required safety gear and know how to use it.
I'm sure others will chime in with more tips.
Boating safety tips
Wow! This thread is right up my alley, don't you think? And, you knew that I can't resist a post (or two!).
How does a novice boater get started? Good question! All you experienced boaters can likely recall exactly how you began; usually by going along with someone who already had some time in the logbook and learning as you go. I'd love to hear some of the sea stories!
We all learn by "doing"- hands on or kinesthetic is the most popular way to learn something. Some learn by seeing it done (visual) and fewer still by hearing about it (audio)...in reality, we all use most all of the senses we have. Learning in Alaska is often about survival....simply because Alaska is so often unforgiving of mistakes; Alaska's history is full of stories about Cheechakos and all the different and innovative ways they managed to kill themselves.
Boating is only one aspect of the Alaskan experience and surviving a boating adventure can be both rewarding....and terrifying. Like most boaters, I'd really rather learn from someone else's experience and hope that I'll never repeat their mistakes....so, the sea stories have a great value to the rest of us. I'll never forget one beatiful day out of Resurrection Bay over by Day Harbor years ago....
We were in a friend's boat, 26' aluminum Oakes riverboat; modified tri-hull. The boat had unreliable twin gas V-8's and jet drives. Originally built for the Snake River in Idaho, it found it's way to Alaska and eventually, I found my way aboard. We headed out for some rockfish and halibut, sunny day and light wind. Not much happening in Res Bay, so around Barwell we went to fish Day Harbor. A bit 'rolly' from the ocean swell and my two young nephews got seasick...and so did their mom & dad. They wanted to go ashore pretty badly, so our accomodating skipper thought he might be able to beach the boat. Unfortunately, the swells turned into surf as they hit the shallower water (good lesson!) and it got pretty hairy very quickly....then one of the engines died and wouldn't restart. I'm already on the bow with a line, ready to jump onto the beach and by the time we decided to abort our shore landing, I was working my way back to the cockpit when I slipped....
I managed to grab onto the bow roller on my way overboard and hung on...literally for dear life! The skipper was trying to back the boat out on one engine and taking water over the transom, yelling at me that he would come back to get me. I replied that I could climb back aboard (I was much younger then!) when he got the boat under control. We finally were able to turn around and get the other engine started. We got the water pumped out of the boat and decided to head home. Lessons learned (from this experience - the hard way!):
1. Don't try and go ashore if there are waves on the beach.
2. Don't risk everyone for a few seasick passengers (prioritize risks)
3. Wear a PFD with survival gear in the pockets (I didn't even have a life jacket on!!)
4. Never exceed your personal "comfort" factor.
5. Make sure your boat is in top mechanical condition.
Naturally, I have lots more sea stories as I'm sure you all do as well; love to hear them!
Boat Safe! Mike
Thanks for chiming in Mike. Glad you made it out safe.
I'm teaching my boy in stages. He keeps asking if he can take the boat ( river boat ) out by himself, or with a buddy, and keep telling him, not yet..