Actual-Facts Boating Tips

* All boat keys need to have a key chain with a floating device on it. You really do not want to accidentally drop your keys, in water so deep, that you cannot see the bottom aluminum ramp.

* Boat owner documents should be kept in a waterproof container/bag.

* When out in your boat and you see a storm coming, get off the lake as soon as possible.

* Learn a few knots so you can safely tie up your boat to the dock. You don’t want to return the next morning and find it has drifted away…or smashed into rocks. Also make sure it is secure.

* Small children easily lose their balance when walking along the dock. Make sure someone is holding their hand as they get into the boat. Many a child has fallen off the dock between the dock and edge of the boat. (Including myself)

* Taking a bottle of sunscreen is always a great idea. With the additional sun rays reflecting off the water, it is easy to get over sun-tanned.

* If in a motorized boat, be considerate of the wildlife. When driving close to the shore, drive very slowly so as not to disturb any bird’s nests. In the past few years, so many loon nests have been destroyed by huge waves from boats.

* Don’t throw your litter overboard off the boat into the water. Seagulls and ducks have been known to get their heads stuck in the cups or the rings that hold a few bottles together for easy carrying. Swimmers have also cut their feet a lot on broken glass from beer bottles and old rusty tin cans.

* Some people who travel in houseboats, like to lather up and then jump into the water to rinse off. What a fast way to get clean! But please use soap that is environmentally friendly.

* Check the levels of your gas tank before taking off and check the levels routinely while out in the boat. Not much fun running out of fuel on the farthest end of the lake and having to paddle all the way back home. Good exercise though! Just hope that you remembered to put in the paddles before you took off for that joy ride in your boat.

* You might think this is a ridiculous tip but it really is important to untie the boat from the dock, before you take off.

* Standing in the boat while it is moving can easily lead to falling out of the boat. All it takes is for the boat to hit a good wave and you might lose your balance and end up in the soup.

* When you are driving closer to a slower moving boat in an open body of water, slow down your speed so that it does not make the other boat rock about. Give them lots of space.

* At the beginning of the boating season, you are just itching to get your boat out there on the lake. Ramps which are used to put your boat in to the water are often hard to find. When you do find one, quite often it is on private property. Be considerate and ask the owner if you can use their ramp. The owner might be even more obliging if you offer to pay a fee for its use.

* Some lakes/waterways have areas where the water is too shallow to drive a boat through. Cut your engine… drive slow through the designated area. Buoys will mark the way for you. Watch out for logs, branches and rocks in these shallower waters. They can do a lot of damage to the propeller of your motor and the bottom of your boat.

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