Safety is always the top priority when it comes to boating, but even more caution and preparation is needed for boating at night. With limited visibility, it’s easy to misread the water, not see a navigation marker, underestimate speed and distance, or overlook debris in the water. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind while at the helm.
- Navigation Lights Required: Before departure, ensure all navigation lights are functioning. These alert other skippers of your position and course.
- Slow, Steady, Stop: Always start out slowly, build to a steady, safe rate of speed, and immediately stop to review any situation that provokes second thoughts or suggests the possibility of danger ahead.
- The Eyes Have It: The more eyes you have watching the water, the better. When possible, post a crew member on the bow (wearing a PFD) to help keep an eye out for other boats, floating debris, channel markers, buoys, etc.
- Stay Focused: Skippers need to stay focused and on the lookout at ALL times when boating at night. Be aware that what may appear to be navigational or background lights could actually be another vessel. Delegate any task outside of operating the helm to other crew members or passengers.
- Don’t Be Stubborn: It’s very easy to veer off course or even run aground after dark. If you can’t be certain you’re on track to your destination, stop and call for assistance. Sea Tow Captains are your local resource and are standing by 24/7 to help.
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Sea Tow has been the premier leader in on-water boating assistance since 1983. With Sea Tow, you pay one annual rate and receive the most comprehensive member benefits available. Membership includes a full suite of on-water assistance services for every boat you own, rent, charter, lease or borrow. Learn more about our membership options today. To find the Sea Tow closest to you, use our service locator or call our Customer Care Center at 800-4-SEATOW.