to boating. A friend of mine has a boat, and he’s letting me drive it. This
will be my first experience driving a boat and I’m nervous. Do you have any
tips for newbies?
Boating is a
fun, relaxing way to enjoy the warm weather and nature. But there’s one big
thing I’m concerned about with you driving a boat: can you legally drive
from state to state, but generally, you need to have a safety certification (or
complete a boating education course) to legally operate a boat in state waters.
The laws are
a bit more relaxed in California, which only requires boating education for
people who are convicted of a moving violation while boating. But many other
states will require you to have proof that you’ve completed a boater education
Hampshire (when operating boats over 25 horsepower)
I’m going to
assume that you’re following the law and have completed a course if you’re
boat is more complicated than driving a car, so it’s not surprising that you’re
nervous about your trip. But it sounds like your friend has quite a bit of
experience driving a boat (he or she is a boat owner after all), so you should
have guidance to help you along the way.
One of the
most common causes of boat accidents is speeding. It’s easy to speed when
you’re out on the water because there are no stoplights, no lanes and little
traffic. But speeding on waterways can be just as dangerous as speeding on
roadways. A collision with another boat, a bridge, rocks or structure can lead
to severe injuries or even death.
should always be your top priority when out on the water. Make sure that
everyone is wearing a life vest, and that they understand how to proceed if
there’s an emergency.
weather before you head out. The last thing you want is to deal with stormy
weather as a new boater.
weather looks good, there are some general rules that you should follow out of
courtesy to your fellow boaters.
on and off the boat ramp quickly. Other boaters need to use the ramp, too. Load
your boat ahead of time and not while you’re on the ramp.
slow when docking so that you don’t damage the boat or the dock.
to your fellow boaters, be courteous to your neighbors, and always clean up
boat on the water isn’t all that complicated. Follow the signs, don’t speed and
make sure that you stay sober while operating the vessel. Docking can be
tricky. Make sure that the boat is tied up before jumping off, and don’t
position yourself or others between the boat and the dock.
sense, and you should be fine. Try to relax and enjoy yourself.