Whether you're an experienced boat owner or captain or looking to set up a process for safety precautions, we recommend reading through suggestions to create your pre-departure safety plan. Each time a guest books your boat, you'll need to go over important safety tips.
Here are some items to consider when creating a plan for guest safety.
Review safety equipment with guest(s) and provide a demonstration of how to use safety equipment in emergency situations
▢ Demonstrate how to use life jackets
▢ Explain who is required to wear life jackets under local, state, and federal laws
▢ Show a man-overboard drill with equipment
▢ Locate fire extinguishers
▢ Identify horn, flares, VHF radio, and bilge pumps
▢ Remind passengers that everyone on board should be a lookout
Review safe boating tips for guests
▢ Remind guests to slow down (e.g. "no running on deck") and to move cautiously, since the wind or waves can change quickly
▢ Remind guests to be mindful of openings like hatches and companionways
▢ Provide tips for swimming safely around and near boats and other watercraft
▢ Review how to use a buddy system out on the water
You may also want to consider preparing and signing a rental or charter agreement with the primary renter. These types of agreements are great for clarifying any and all things that could come up during a trip, such as possessions getting lost overboard, equipment breaking down or failing to work as intended, accidents, the U.S. Coast Guard needing to come aboard, damages to your watercraft, or disputes.
As mentioned above, please consider using these recommendations to build your guest safety plan as part of your pre-rental checklist. This is not an exhaustive list, and you can customize to incorporate other items depending on your needs. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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