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As a boat dealer, the safety of our customers is paramount! We want to make sure you have endless fun out on the water and the best way to ensure that happens is by following a few basic safety rules. Here are our top safety tips for anyone new to the boating lifestyle.

Be Weather-Wise

Our #1 tip for new boaters is to never underestimate the power of a Florida storm! If you start seeing storm clouds while you’re out on the boat or the forecast is calling for stormy weather on a day you planned to head out on the water— don’t take the risk. Head for home.

Have Plenty of Life Jackets on Hand

Florida law requires that you have a USCG-approved personal flotation device (PFD) available for every person on board. Our recommendation? Keep more life jackets on board than you expect to need just in case you have a few extra people jump aboard. It’s also important to remember that kids under 6-years-old need to be wearing a life jacket any time the boat isn’t anchored or ashore.

Keep Your Kill Switch Attached to You

The safety ignition cut-off switch, also known as the kill switch, is one of the best safety features you have on your boat. If you go overboard and your kill switch is properly attached to you, your boat won’t run away without you. You can also pull your safety ignition cut-off switch to kill the engine if you notice someone or something too close to your propellers.

It’s also worth noting that as of April 1, 2021, boaters are required to attach themselves to their motor’s kill switch.

Have an EPIRB, Float Plan, & Life Raft Ready

In the event that things do go wrong, we suggest that boaters always have three crucial safety items ready – an EPIRB, Float Plan, and Life Raft.

An EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) can be a lifesaver in case of a catastrophic event such as your boat sinking or capsizing. By activating this device, search, and rescue authorities can quickly pinpoint the distress signal and respond with the appropriate resources. Creating a Float Plan, which outlines your planned route and expected arrival times, can also help search and rescue authorities locate you quickly if something goes wrong. Make sure that you register your Float Plan with a dock master or someone you trust, so that you can count on search and rescue to be contacted promptly.

Additionally, a Life Raft is a vital safety device that can be crucial if you find yourself evacuated from your vessel. Some life rafts are equipped with survival gear such as water, food, and first aid supplies, which can help you survive until help arrives.

Know Your Limits

As a new boater, it’s important to know what your limits are in regard to maneuvering your boat, like what weather conditions you feel safe navigating in and whether you can safely tow tubers or water skiers. If you’re ever unsure, you can always give us a call and we’d be happy to help.

Read The Safety Guide That Came with Your Boat

At Fish Tale Boats we provide all of our new boat owners with a complimentary safety guide. As your boat dealer, we want to make sure you are prepared and safe out on the water. Our guide gives you the information you need for a safe day out on the water so you can make the most out of your new boat lifestyle.

If you have any additional questions about safety, feel free to give us a call at (239) 463-4448.