A family vacation is just what you need to escape the daily stresses from work and life in general. What better way to spend this fun time than a leisurely boat tour out at sea?
Boating is a relatively safe activity that anyone can enjoy. However, things can sometimes get out of hand if you venture without proper preparations or knowledge of essential safety measures. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that the children are safe while enjoying a memorable occasion with the family.
Boating trips are fun, but if you are planning to bring your kids along, there are a few things that you should know and plan for to make your boating experience worry-free. Anything can happen when you are out on open water, so it’s best to come prepared beforehand.
That said, here are some boating safety tips that you should know when touring with your water-loving kids.
1. Check the Weather
The first thing to do — even before hiring a boat rental — is to study the weather carefully. Pick a date and schedule wherein you can enjoy the beautiful scenery without bad weather disrupting the day.
Knowing the date can help you plan accordingly; if it’s too cold, you and your family can wear extra layers; on the other hand, if it seems like a bright, sunny day, you can wear light clothes with a pair of sunglasses, a sun hat, and sunscreen to protect you from UV rays. Also, note that the temperature tends to drop quickly on the water, so prepare extra clothes for the trip. If the weather makes it risky for boating, be sure to contact your tour or boat charter company for any cancellations or rescheduling concerns.
Several weather apps can also keep track of weather conditions while boating. These can come in handy as heavy rain, lightning, and strong winds can be dangerous if you’re out on the water with your kids.
2. Learn and Implement Basic Boating Safety Procedures
If you’re bringing kids on a boat, make sure they understand the necessary safety tips and precautions before leaving the dock. Everyone should strictly follow the captain’s rules, including “no sitting on the railings” and “no running on board.” To prevent your children from falling overboard, remind them to hold onto the rails to remain steady.
Moreover, know the location of the fire extinguisher, the proper usage of radio devices, and the safe evacuation methods in case of emergencies.
When boating with kids or for the first time, consider taking a boating safety course, which can include topics like:
- Basic Navigation
- Boat Handling
- Boat Safety Tips
- Everyday Meteorology
You can also visit your state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website to learn more about these courses.
3. Wear Life Jackets
Wearing a life jacket is the most common and significant safety procedure for boat tours. All passengers must wear fitted life jackets, and the boat needs to have additional flotation devices for emergencies.
While not as crucial, also make sure that your life jacket is comfortable and Coast Guard-approved; otherwise, it can quickly become a pain to wear.
There are infant-sized life jackets available with a head cushion for extra protection when your children are in the water.
Note that you can’t go out to sea without your children wearing life jackets. The US Coast Guard does not allow children below 13 years of age to get on board without a life jacket, and this rule applies to everyone — including boat rentals — for a safe boat trip.
4. Get Them Involved
Kids enjoy a boating adventure more if they have things to do. As a family, it’s best to create team-building exercises to foster teamwork. These are usually facilitated by the captain, as they make sure that, apart from the crew, everyone on board can lend a hand.
For kids on a boat, you can assign them simple tasks. You could have them, for example, help you watch out for wreckage during the tour, scrub the deck, and keep stock of all the available and remaining supplies. If they feel a sense of responsibility, they would be motivated to obey rules and orders while enjoying the trip with everyone.
A Safe and Hassle-Free Vacation
If you’re looking for a safe and unique experience with a private boat charter in Indian Rocks Beach, FL, look no further than Bay Excursions!
Your safety is our #1 priority. We offer no less than high-quality bowriders equipped with safety features to ensure you and your kids have a safe and fun time riding along the calm waters of Florida.
What are you waiting for? Embark on a memorable family vacation like no other with our top-of-the-line charter boats. The water’s fine! For more information and reservations, call (727) 595-0000 today. We won’t hesitate to provide the best aquatic adventure for you and your loved ones.