Boat Travel Tips to Make Your Trip Safe and Enjoyable
Be it your first boating experience or not, there are certain guidelines you should keep in mind when planning a voyage on the water. Following these suggestions can ensure a safer and more enjoyable voyage.
Life jackets are an essential piece of safety equipment and should be worn by everyone on board. Before departing, ensure each passenger has tried on and properly fitted their vest.
Choose Your Destination Carefully
When planning a waterborne adventure, selecting your destination carefully is key to an enjoyable trip. There are various factors to keep in mind when making this selection such as type of trip you would like and personal preferences for travel.
Example: Perhaps your ideal vacation includes beach visits, shopping sprees or exploring nature – these preferences will determine where and what type of accommodation to book.
Consideration should also be given to weather conditions when choosing your destination. Deliberately timing a visit based on its climate can help ensure optimal travel experiences; shoulder season visits offer less tourists while providing ideal weather.
When selecting your destination, be sure to research its weather and take advantage of any discounts or offers that might exist in that region. Doing this will allow you to save money while fully enjoying your journey.
Plan ahead and bring all of the gear needed for your journey, this will ensure both safety and comfort while on board the vessel.
Make sure that you remain properly hydrated while on the water, by packing multiple bottles of water per person. Also remember to bring sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection and an SPF rating of at least 30.
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) should always be carried when on the water. A PFD could save your life in an emergency situation; so be sure to bring one along!
Get Your Insurance in Place
Insurance is required at most ports and marinas, making it essential to secure yourself before embarking on your voyage. Furthermore, having it can give you peace of mind should something go amiss, such as damage to your vessel or injury to members of your family.
Cost of boat insurance depends on various factors, including its age, value and condition as well as where it will be stored; in high-risk areas this premium could increase.
Physical damage deductibles can also have an effect on premiums; they reduce how much of an out-of-pocket loss costs you after it happens and could range anywhere from 1-5% of its insured value.
As you evaluate policies, be sure to ask about deductibles and limits of coverage when making comparisons. In addition, make sure your liability coverage provides enough coverage in case an accident causes medical costs or property damage to others. This may protect you financially should an incident happen that leads to injuries.
Make sure your insurance policy includes “hit and run” coverage, which reimburses any damage caused by someone driving into or striking your boat as they try to escape the water. This protection can be especially vital when sailing the open ocean or traveling long distances in remote regions.
If you plan to venture into hurricane territory, make sure that your insurance provider requires that you have a storm plan in place. Will you store your boat at an approved hurricane-proof facility or sail it directly to a safe harbor?
Plan Your Route
Planning your boat travel route is key to ensuring an uneventful journey. Also important is being ready for unexpected events that could arise such as weather changes and other complications that might occur on your journey, including emergencies like sudden changes in temperature or other issues that could arise such as mechanical failure.
As part of your boat travel route planning, the first step should be creating a list of all the places you plan on visiting along the journey. This will enable you to better determine their distances from each other and the best route between them.
Once your list is completed, create a detailed map of your trip course to identify any shipping lanes, currents or shallow areas which could impede its safe navigation.
Your boat’s navigation system can also help ensure safe travel routes; just make sure that it stays up-to-date to reflect any potential changes such as dredging, erosion or construction projects that might impede it.
Be sure to pack plenty of food and water for your entire journey, including an ice pack to keep drinks cold during travel. Additionally, pack a cooler full of cold beverages so they remain refreshingly cold during their journey.
As part of your planning, bring along a map and compass so that in an emergency you can locate yourself quickly and safely. If you don’t know how to use them properly, ask someone familiar with boats for guidance or search online for tips – regardless if your trip will last weeks or months, these tools will ensure a successful and stress-free boat vacation experience! So get out there now, start putting these strategies into action, and begin planning!
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Planned a family sailboat vacation or taking a cruise tour? For your safety, research travel safety requirements for your destination as well as staying connected with the cruise line/tour operator throughout.
Make sure you are always prepared for emergencies on the water by practicing emergency drills, such as those available through National Safe Boating Week. By training for them beforehand, emergency drills allow you to better evaluate situations, goals and resources that might need to be put in place when an actual incident happens.
Be sure that your vessel has all of the appropriate gear on board, such as a first aid kit, life jackets for each passenger and flares – plus an inflatable flotation device to throw into the water, additional lines and radio if necessary.
While no one likes to think about it, boat trips can sometimes bring sickness or injury; therefore it’s wise to prepare your first aid kit with all essential items, such as pain relievers and anti-seasickness medicines.
Whenever embarking on a long voyage, pack an EPIRB or PLB (emergency position indicator radio beacon). These devices can help guide you back home if you become lost.
Be sure to have all of your important documents and paperwork stored safely in a dry bag, along with extra towels and clothing, in case it rains unexpectedly. Also consider packing two of what you plan on bringing with you just in case you run short on anything!