About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Maryland Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Maryland Boating Safety Education Certificate.

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Check your boat for safety violations before you launch

As the operator of a vessel, you are responsible for ensuring that your passengers understand basic safety practices and laws.

  • Use a pre-departure checklist to make sure you've taken the necessary safety precautions.
  • Before departing, have a safety discussion with everyone on board. Some of the things you should point out are:
    • Locations of emergency equipment—personal flotation devices (PFDs), fire extinguisher(s), visual distress signals, first-aid kit, and bilge pump.
    • The need for all passengers to wear a PFD, especially during times of high vessel traffic, severe weather, or any other dangerous boating conditions
    • Laws about reckless operation, required equipment, and waste disposal.
    • Safety procedures for responding to a fire or someone falling overboard
    • How to signal for help or use the VHF radio to make a MAYDAY call
    • How to anchor the vessel and handle lines (ropes)
  • Conduct emergency drills with your passengers so that everyone knows what to do in case of a boating emergency.