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Course Outline

Passengers sitting in the center of the boat to avoid dangers of severe weather

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.
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