Boating is one of the most fun and enjoyable activities you can do with the whole family.
Here are some tips on how to make the most out of this year’s boating season for you and your kids.
- Apply Sunscreen
Keep everyone sun-safe by applying sunscreen as a family and wear your sunhats and life jackets with pride before you even get into the boat.
- Don’t Drink
Whoever is operating the boat must be as sober as a judge. Just as you wouldn’t drink and drive, you shouldn’t drink and boat either.
This is 101 of boating safety according to ilearntoboat. Rather keep hydrated with non-alcoholic drinks, water, and juice for the whole family.
- Explain Ground Rules to Your Kids
Lay down the ground rules with the kids before you leave the shore.
Let them know to never walk around when the boat is in motion, they shouldn’t run on the boat deck and they should learn to keep three points of contact with the boat to avoid falling over if the boat wobbles due to waves made by dolphins or a passing boat.
- Wear Life Jackets
Make sure everyone on the boat is wearing a lifejacket. This means all the kids, adults, and even your pet.
Children younger than 13 are required to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket when they are on a moving vessel.
There are different life jackets to choose from for the whole family so it won’t be a problem to find a life jacket that fits each member of the family.
- Teach Them How to Use the Radio
Not only should you have a working VHF radio while boating, but you must ensure that each member of the family gets a tutorial on how to operate it so that they’re not stuck if an emergency happens.
You can check the Seat Tow Automated Radio Check service to get a free children’s tutorial on how to talk over the VHF and key the microphone. This tutorial is designed for children so it’s easy to understand.
- Clear the Deck
Make sure that the deck is clear of any clutter. This means that everybody should do away with any toys or fishing gear that might obstruct the dock.
- Teach Your Kids Fishing
Angling is great and all, but have you ever tried angling while on a boat? It’ll soon become your family’s favorite form of angling especially as kids learn how to use hooks and lines.
Be sure to teach your little ones to fish from opposite ends of the boat, and to not throw their used line into the water.
Throw in a few play breaks in between to keep things fun and mix it up to cater to kids’ short attention spans.
- Be Careful When Engaging in Water Sports
When towing your kids on an inflatable water toy or behind the boat, on a wakeboard or water skis, make sure that there’s an adult who’s supervising and observing them nearby.
Keep an eye on the towed rider particularly and maintain constant communication with the boat captain.
You should have certain hand signals that you use with the kids to signify stopping, going slower, and speeding up.