For as much fun as the open water can be, you should never underestimate the importance of boat safety. When everyone aboard your craft knows they are safe and there are plans in place for emergency action, it’s easier to let loose and enjoy the ride.
The Storage Place encourages boat safety and highly recommends that all boat owners prepare themselves with a Texas boat safety course. However, once you’re out on the water, there are a few tips and essential boating equipment that can come in handy in a pinch.
At the end, we’ll circle back to how you can store your boat for safekeeping at The Storage Place.
Prepare Life Jackets and Other Flotation Devices
Life jackets are designed in a very precise way. While they serve to keep you above water, they are also designed so someone unconscious has a higher likelihood of flipping face up, and its material is intended to reduce the chances of hypothermia.
If at all possible, make sure all the life jackets you have onboard are appropriate for the height and weight of each person in your boat. Make sure everyone knows the proper method for putting one on and fastening it before you leave the shore.
If you have other inflatables or emergency safety boats, make sure everyone abroad knows how to locate and inflate them. Double-check that they are well maintained and hold air. Patch any puncture wounds, or replace them as necessary.
These apparatuses are the backbone of Texas boat safety equipment.
Perform a Quality Check of Your Boat
Before you set sail, perform a thorough inspection of your boat to ensure everything is in working order.
First, take it for a free vessel safety check with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadrons. Once you clear inspection and are on the water, check for fumes and leaks. Don’t get too far from shore until you’ve had ample time to notice if anything is wrong.
If you open all the hatches and detect fumes, don’t ignite the engine. Gas and fumes can concentrate in enclosed spaces, blocked exhaust outlets, around the engine itself, and around inadequately ventilated canvas.
Put Together a Boat Safety Equipment Kit
An accident or emergency could happen at any time. Your best course of action is to prepare in advance for as many awry circumstances as possible.
When putting together a boat safety kit, make sure it includes the following:
- First aid kit: You can buy a comprehensive first aid kit with most grocers and convenience stores, or directly from a medical clinic.
- Whistle: If you’re stranded without gas or you’ve sprung a leak, you’ll want to draw as much attention as possible. Bring a waterproof whistle so you can signal for help.
- Trash bags: These can be useful as impromptu rain ponchos and water protection for onboard belongings.
- Fire extinguisher: Make sure there is an easily accessible fire extinguisher on board in case anything goes wrong, especially with the engine. Everyone should know how to access this.
- Bucket: If water gets into the boat, you need a way to get it out.
- Duct tape: While not a permanent solution, this will temporarily seal any leaks until you have time to return to shore.
- Rope: Ropes are incredibly versatile aboard a seacraft. They can be used to pull in someone who has fallen overboard, tie down loose items, and fasten your craft to a dock.
Only Drive Your Boat When it’s Safe
Similar to driving a car there are certain things you can’t do while aboard a watercraft. One of those things is drinking. It’s a common occurrence especially during holidays like memorial day or the fourth of July but operating a boat while intoxicated is illegal, extremely dangerous, and will definitely be met with legal action if you’re stopped by the coast guard.
In addition to not driving while intoxicated, avoid driving if you’re tired or during times of low visibility. These nuggets of wisdom have likely been addressed with you if you’ve taken a boating safety course, but it’s worth emphasizing because being unprepared or unable to respond in the event of an emergency could lead to you damaging your boat, injuring someone else, or even yourself.
Bottom line: if you don’t feel confident navigating in your current state, it’s best to either stay on land or let someone else drive for you.
Premium Enclosed Boat Storage Units and Outdoor Parking
When you aren’t rolling with the open waters, you’ll need somewhere to keep your boat on land. That’s why The Storage Place offers boat storage at select locations. We even have a facility in Aransas Pass that caters specifically to boat owners. Whether you need enclosed or outdoor parking for your water vessel, The Storage Place offers plenty of features for maximum convenience, including extended office hours, individual door alarms, 24-hour surveillance, and more.
We want you to enjoy your trips on the water rather than dreading the long task of tucking your boat in for the night. At The Storage Place, we’ll help make storing your boat easy, convenient, and affordable. If you have more questions about our boat storage or other storage offerings, explore Frequently Asked Questions, or visit a facility near you to rent your boat storage space today!