If you are thinking about buying a new boat, there are many things you should know.

Be sure to check with your state parks and wildlife department for important information  all seaworthy (or lake-worthy) persons should know.

Texas Boater Education teaches:

  • How to choose the right boat for you and your family
  • Docking, anchoring, and maneuvering the trailer
  • Navigation rules and aids
  • Legal requirements for boats
  • Handling accidents and emergencies
  • Weather
  • Basic water safety
  • What to do in case of a fire on board
  • Basics of safety in regard to water sports

Other places that offer boater education are U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Power Squad, trained volunteer instructors, teachers, and game wardens.  Now hear this: it pays to be educated on boating skills and seamanship, as there are many insurers that offer discounts upon successful completion of boater education courses.

Rules of the water apply the same as on the highway: show courtesy to other drivers and have designated drivers for the boat.  Most boaters are willing to help a stranded boater by towing them to the shore if they are experiencing motor problems.  The main thing in boating (in addition to a safe driver) is extending courtesy to swimmers or skiers, and not come too close to them.

It’s the law that persons wear life jackets or PFD’s  (personal flotation devices).  Here’s a brief explanation of the five types:

  • Type I – Floats best, but bulky;
  • Type II – Good for calm inland water where there is a chance of quick rescue;
  • Type III – Same as above, and generally most comfortable for continuous wear.  Type III furnishes more freedom of movement for active water sports;
  • Type IV – Throwable device – can be tossed to person, serves as a back up to PFD, can be used as a seat cushion, but not suitable for rough water manageability;
  • Type V – An inflatable type.

You must know the type of jackets that are required for the particular size boat you choose.

Things to remember:

(1) Wear life jackets – they save lives!

(2) Have that designated driver!

(3) Have a safe boat – it can save your life!

(4) Be sure to take along sunscreen, and

(5) have a first aid kit on your boat.

See if you can say this ten times without tripping up: “You better be a sober boater!”  It pays to play it safe, whether on land or at sea!

Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife


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