Before you embark on a fun-filled Father's Day on the water, check out West Marine boating safety expert Chuck Hawley's quick tips for smooth sailing.
1. It's common knowledge that the best way to make boating safer is to have everyone wear a life jacket. There are two groups of boaters where it's really, really important: kids under 13 and non-swimmers. Before you set sail, ask if there are any non-swimmers on board, and make sure all of the kids have appropriately-sized vests.
Photo by: Flickr user JodyDigger
2. A small medical kit is always a good idea. For less than $50, you can buy a kit in a waterproof container that has a good assortment of bandages, dressings, pain meds and antiseptics. For longer trips or larger groups, you may want to consider a more comprehensive medical kit.
3. While not specifically in the "safety" category, any boat can benefit from the addition of some waterproof binoculars for identifying navigation aids, harbors, and seeing vessels that might require assistance.
4. It just makes sense to check the weather before you head out, and monitor the weather while on the water. VHF radios and the ever-present smart phone can provide advance warning of inclement weather.
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