Video: Preparing To Ride
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Buddy, here let me help you. Looks like you've got a full day planned.
So you’re the one we’re sharing the dock with this season. I really like your boat. I don’t suppose you’re new to this whole thing, are you?
Oh. Well, we can help you get started if you want.
Yeah. We actually just started our pre-launch safety check. You want to join in? All right.
Pre-Launch Safety Check
All right. So where you headed? Oh, you don’t know. Have you filed a float plan? Don’t know what a float plan is. It’s totally fine. I’ll tell you what, let me show you. Whether you’re boating by yourself, with family, or friends, it’s smart to tell someone where you’re going and give them your cell number and ask them to take action and call authorities if you don’t return on time. Email or text a plan to a friend or leave it at a local marina. And let them know when you’re back safely.
Speaking of who’s, you heading out with anyone?
You might want to reconsider your invite list. Boats have a maximum capacity rating. And your boat is maxed out at eight people. Because overloading your boat beyond its capacity can cause it to swamp or capsize, you’ll want to limit your passengers and extra equipment. Now that is better. Okay, now for safety gear. Lifejackets, you’ve got some, right? Nice try. But this won’t cut it. Here’s the deal on the safety gear you’ll need.
Risking your life to these things? Bad idea. You and all of your passengers will need U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejackets. Try them on before you get on the boat. Keep them on at all times while underway. And make sure to have at least one per passenger. You’ll also need an ignition safety switch lanyard. Attach it to your lifejacket. And if you fall overboard, it’ll shut off the engine. There is a sharp spinning propeller down there. So if you don’t want to get diced into fish chum, use it.
And be sure to carry signalling devices. Besides being smart, visual signals and sound-producing devices are required by law in many places. Check the requirements where you are. Always carry an extra set. And make sure that your flares aren’t expired. And you’ll need the right fire extinguisher—a Type B, which means it’s designed for flammable liquids. And check to make sure it’s U.S. Coast Guard-approved and in good, usable condition.
And don’t forget an extra drain plug. They’re small but important if you lose the one that’s in there. So be sure yours is in place, and carry extras just in case. All right, so we know that you know why it’s important to be safe. But don’t let your passengers distract you from your pre-launch safety check. Show what you’re doing and why you’re doing it because it could be a lifesaver.
Yep. All set.
All right. Hope to see you out there on the lake—not at the bottom of it.