Holidays always bring out the usual boaters along with lots of new boaters and those that only go out a few times a year. A little common sense and preparation can make your holiday on the water a fun adventure and not a befuzzling mess. Here are a few common sense tips to help get you ready for that enjoyable weekend.
Prior to the Holiday:
1. Make sure all batteries are in good working condition and fully charged.
2. Gas up the boat.
3. Start your motor before you leave the house.
4. Stow as much gear in the boat before leaving the house.
5. Check the trailer early enough to have the time to repair lights, tires, etc.
At the ramp:
1. Get your boat ready BEFORE pulling into the launch area. (All equipment on board – tie off lines ready )
2. Back in – launch the boat – move the boat out of the ramp area – get parked and back to the boat.
3. Move out of the launch area quickly if you are waiting on others or getting things stowed..
4. If you have problems, get out of the ramp area. Don’t tie up others because your problems at the ramp.
On the water:
1. Know the rules of the road and use common sense and courtesy.
2. Don’t be aggressive on the water. Allow plenty of room to other boats and slow down around heavy boat traffic.
3. Remember, your wake affects others. Again, common sense and courtesy is the key.
4. Obey the laws! The signs are there for a reason, so just follow the rules and everyone will have an enjoyable day.
5. Don’t drink and drive! Have an experienced boater to be the designated driver for that day.
6. Courtesy goes a long, long way!!
Back at the ramp:
1. Don’t tie up a ramp while you get your vehicle. Most likely, someone is already getting their trailer and should have first rights to pulling their boat out.
2. Patience is a virtue….someone once said. Don’t be in a hurry. You will get your boat out, just wait your turn.
3. Pull well away of the ramp area when securing your boat and gear. Allow others the courtesy of pulling their boats timely.
4. Make sure everything is secure for a safe trip home from a wonderful Holiday weekend on the water!
Check with your local Coast Guard Auxiliary and take a safe boating course if you haven’t already….it will open your eyes to safe boating.
It’s nothing new or bizarre, just simple things to help yourself and others around you to have a great Holiday Weekend! Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend!
Remember, as always, fishing is not just another hobby……it’s an ADVENTURE!
Captain Charlie Conner