Severe Weather: Prepare Your Boat and Passengers
If you are caught in severe weather, prepare your boat and your passengers.
- To prepare the boat to handle severe weather:
- Slow down, but keep enough power to maintain headway and steering.
- Close all hatches, windows, and doors to reduce the chance of swamping.
- Stow any unnecessary gear.
- Turn on your boat’s navigation lights. If there is fog, sound your fog horn as instructed in Unit 2.
- Keep bilges free of water. Be prepared to remove water by bailing.
- If there is lightning, disconnect all electrical equipment. Stay as clear of metal objects as possible.
- To prepare your passengers for severe weather:
- Have everyone put on a USCG–approved PFD. If a PFD is already on, make sure it is secured properly.
- Have your passengers sit on the vessel floor close to the centerline. This is for their safety and to make the boat more stable.