Marine Surveyor Discusses Boating Safety

From Paul Squire a Marine Surveyor

The weather has been cooperating with all of the sea lovers out there for a few weeks now, so we thought a quick primer on boating safety was in order. Marine surveyors tend to plan and take notes so we have put together a checklist that you can use here to plan your next boating excursion. A trip on a boat or yacht can get complicated, so being prepared for any event is vital to the safety of all of the passengers.

Now that you have completed the checklist it is time to start the trip. Some things to consider while out at sea are:

  • Life Jackets. It is suggested that you wear a life jacket at all times while on the boat. Marine surveyors will agree with this, but we all know that is probably not going to happen. Make sure the life jackets are accessible and everyone knows where they are stored. Fitting each person with their own life jacket prior to departure is also suggested.
  • Alcohol. Many trips involve imbibing and this isn’t going to change anytime soon. Just like going out on a Friday night – DON”T DRINK and DRIVE. Make sure there is a designated captain who is competent and sober.
  • Take a Course. If you are an inexperienced captain there are many courses available that are low or no cost. Many marine survey groups in the area also host free boating safety workshops through out the year. Sign up for one, it may only cost you a Saturday afternoon.
  • Get your vessel inspected. A simple safety inspection can be relatively inexpensive and may even save you some money on your insurance payment. At the very least participate in the Vessel Safety Check program that the U.S. Coast Guard provides. You can find out more about that at the Vessel Safety Check website.
  • Remain vigilant. Weather and sea conditions can change very quickly. Stay up to date with the radio and communicate with other boaters the conditions in your area.

Following these guidelines and preparing for your trip can save you many headaches and possibly even the lives of your passengers. I have been a marine surveyor in South Florida for many years and I have seen my share of tragedies. Most of these could have been avoided with a little common sense and a plan.

If you have any doubts at all about your trip or believe that you may not be qualified to plan your trip then contact a local marine surveyor to help. A professional can help you insure the safety of all of your passengers and your vessel. The fees associated with this type of service are not that expensive and could be worth it if things go wrong while you are out at sea.

Captain Paul Squire is a marine surveyor in Fort Lauderdale that offers tips and information.