Renting a boat is a great way to see an area while on vacation or to get on the Water in your home town without having the stress of boat ownership and maintenance. When on the Water safety is a major concern and we want you to have the most fun you possibly can while boating safe. Here are a few tips to get you and your crew back to the dock safely from Southport Boat Rentals staff.
Tip 1. Know what gear you have and use it!
The Coast guard reports that wearing life jackets contribute to saving lives. We know this and provide life jackets to every person that rents a boat and a few extras just in case. We also provide 2 type 4 throwable floatation devices to comply with state laws. 1 of these type for pfds need to be out and ready for use at all times. We will have this in a net behind the cooler and will show you where it is upon arrival.
If children are aboard we will size them up and provide the appropriate life jacket just for them.
Tip 2. Provide a float plan
What is a float plan and who should you give it to? A float plan is basically telling someone where you plan to go, and when you plan to return. It can be a friend, family member or one of our staff members on the dock. In the event of an emergency situation, help will arrive sooner if someone knows where you are and when you expect to return. Usually the skipper prepares the float plan and it should be givin to someone who can notify the coast guard if you do not return or check in as planned.
Tip 3. Watch the weather
Conditions can change rapidly on the Water and can be a reason boaters get into trouble. We will keep an eye on the weather for you using noaa weather service but you should also check it yourself every hour or so to be on the safe side. If you notice the clouds are dark or the wind has picked up, it’s a good time to check the report and look at the radar. With the availability of smartphones everyone should be able to check the weather easily while on a boat.
Tip 4. Check your fuel
fueling up your vessel can be dangerous. Follow a few simple safety tips when adding fuel to your boat.
Close all hatches since fuel vapors are heavier than air and will settle to lower parts of the boat.
Know your tanks compactly. All of our boats come equipped with 20 gallon tanks. Do not turn on the ignition to check the gauge until after you are finished pumping, then pump more if you need to.
When fueling keep the metal on the pump touching the metal on the fill cap to ground out and prevent any static electricity.
After completing the fueling process open all the hatches and sniff around for fuel before starting the engine.
Tip 5. Know the area you are navigating
We have upgraded gps navigation systems to help you familiarize yourselves with the area. Before departure we will go over any areas you plan on visiting and give you all the local knowledge you need when renting a boat from Southport Boat Rentals.
Know the rules of the road and try to to pass port to port just like you do in your car on the road. When two boats approach at a crossing angle the boat to your right has the right of way. If the boat is to your left then you have the right of way.
Most importantly have fun when you rent from Southport Boat Rentals. Please feel free to comment if you have any tips we might have missed.