At Fish Tale Boats, we offer more than just boats for sale in Naples and Fort Myers. We also make sure your boat is well taken care of and safe in and out of the water.

Here, we’ve compiled our top tips for a safe day of boating so you and your loved ones can enjoy your time to the fullest.

Tip 1: Follow the Boating Laws in Place

Before you go out on the water, make sure you are familiar with the laws you need to follow. For example, would you know who to call if you were in a boating accident? Did you know everyone on board must have a personal flotation device (PFD)?

We cover the most essential boating laws in one of our latest blogs What You Need To Know About Florida Boating Laws. You can also read a summary of the Florida Statutes related to boating on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website.

Tip 2: Know What Navigational Aids Symbolize

Just like the yellow and white lines on the roads, boats also must abide by the “rules of the road” out on the water. The U.S. Aids to Navigation System or IALA-B is used in most of the U.S. to show the routes you should follow.

For example, green colors and lights should be on your right (starboard) side when traveling toward open waters (seaward) and red colors and lights should be on your right side when traveling from open waters. Orange-and-white aids may warn you of something ahead, like a speed zone.

Other visual signals you should also look out for are red and white “diver down” flags and white and blue “alpha flags” (vessels with this type of flag should be given the right of way).

Tip 3: Monitor the Weather

Boating can turn from a fun and relaxing adventure to a stressful and sometimes dangerous undertaking if you don’t prepare for the weather conditions. Make sure to check the latest marine forecast and warning information before you go. You can do it on the National Weather Service website.

Once you are on the water, keep an eye out for weather that indicates it’s a good time to head back to shore. You may be signaled by darkening clouds, changing/rough winds, and sudden temperature changes.

Tip 4: Carry the Right Safety Equipment

It is important to always be prepared and have the right equipment on board. Here are a few of our recommendations for equipment:

  • VHF marine radio – provide two-way communication in a range of 5 to 30 miles.
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and Personal Location Beacons (PLB) – alerts for search and rescue in case of emergency.
  • Ditch bags – contains items necessary to summon help and survive while waiting for rescue.
  • Satellite phone – has service anywhere without relying on cell phone networks.
  • Safety rafts or life rafts – keeps a crew of a sunk or completely uninhabitable boat on the water floating until rescue.
  • A kill lanyard – kills the engine in case the captain is thrown off their seat. As of April 1, 2021, a new law took effect wherein an operator of any powerboat less than 26 feet in length MUST wear the boat’s engine cutoff switch (or kill lanyard) when traveling on plane.

Join the Boating Lifestyle

Looking to purchase your first boat? Located off South Tamiami Trail and Briarcliff Road, Fish Tale has boats for sale in Fort Myers including top manufacturers like Grady-White, Robalo, Chaparral, and Premier Pontoon boats. We also have boats for sale in Naples at our store located on Davis Blvd.

Browse our inventory today and give us a call to schedule a viewing and sea trial! We offer virtual viewings upon request.