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10 Safety Tips When Renting a Boat with Kids

IMR 10 Safety Tips When Renting a Boat with Kids

The holidays are coming up, the season to spend time and have fun with your family. As parents, it is our duty to spend quality time with our kids and build memories with them. If you are looking for the best family activity, renting a boat and going on a boating adventure with the kids is the best thing you can do.

Boating trips are fun, but can also be dangerous if you don’t know the safety measures and things to prepare for. Here are 10 boating safety tips to keep in mind when you go boating with kids.

1. Make Everyone Wear Life Jackets at All Times

The first and most important thing you can do on a boating trip is to establish the rules for your kids and make them wear their life jackets all the time. The US Coast Guard does not let children below 13 years of age get on a boat without a life jacket, and that is a rule everyone must follow to have a safe and fun trip. When doing boat rentals, you can expect that they will ask you to do the same.

2. Be a Good Example

If your kids are not keen on wearing life jackets and are always complaining about the heat and having to wear heavy vests, the best way to convince them is to show them how it is done and be a role model.

Another fun thing you can do is engage them as you choose the life jackets for everyone. Let them choose their own life jackets, but make sure that it fits them perfectly to ensure safety. Your kids follow your example, and if you are wearing your life jacket all throughout the trip, they are going to want to wear theirs as well.

3. Prepare Ahead

Before going boating with kids it is important to prepare everything you might need. Put on sunblock and a hat before getting on the boat to avoid sunburn. If you have toddlers, put their life jackets on while still in the parking lot to protect them in case they accidentally fall into the water. Always think ahead and be prepared for anything that might happen.

4. Clear the Decks

When climbing on board, make sure that all the boating gear and toys are neatly packed in the corner. Make sure that there isn’t anything that may cause anyone to trip and fall. Keep your life jackets on to be safe and sure that there will be no accidents whatsoever.

5. Provide Safety Lessons and Reminders

It is important for the kids to know boating safety tips and precautions as well as you do. Before leaving the dock, set the rules and make sure they understand. It is important to establish that there is only one captain on the boat and everyone should strictly follow the captain’s rules. Some good examples of boating safety rules include no running on board and no sitting on the railings.

You can also remind the kids to hang onto the grab rails at all times to keep them steady as the boat rocks with the waves. This is one of the most important safety precautions as it will keep the children safe from any type of injury they can get from falling.

6. Involve Them

Kids enjoy any adventure more when you assign them tasks and keep them involved in what you’re doing. If you make them feel in charge of something they will feel a sense of responsibility and obey all the rules and orders you give them. You can show them the chart or map of where you are going and teach them how to understand a compass or how to find your GPS coordinates. Not only will they be an effective assistant to you, but you will also find them enjoying the trip more.

7. Keep Your Radio Close By

Always have your radio by your side and make sure everyone on board knows how to operate the VHF radio on the boat in case of an emergency. You can make a fun drill and have a trial call before sailing. It will be an enjoyable experience for the kids, and it will also teach them how to key the microphone correctly and talk over the VHF. This is also a good practice to make sure the radio is in good working condition before you rent a boat from the boat rental agency.

8. Assign a Watcher

It is important to provide lessons before going boating with kids, not only for the kids themselves but for the adults and teens coming with you as well. Assign one or two adults to be watchers and keep everyone in sight while on board. Make sure that everyone wears life vests while doing activities on the boat such as skiing, boarding and riding.

9. Teach Them How to Fish Safely

One of the best activities on board is fishing, but before doing so, teach the kids how to be careful around fishhooks, strings, and other fishing equipment. Teach them how to safely get the fish off the hook, and where to stand on the boat while fishing. Have them take turns fishing and have snacks nearby to avoid any possible conflict you may encounter.

10. Assign Seats

To ensure everyone’s safety, assign seats and formation so you would know immediately when someone from the group is missing. This will also help keep all the kids in check so they won’t accidentally block the captain’s view. Assigning seats will help provide structure and discipline to keep the kids behaved during the whole boating trip.

During the holiday season, it can be hard to find boat rentals available in your area. If you are looking for boat rentals in Madeira Beach, FL, visit Island Marine Rentals where you can rent boats, kayaks, and even bikes and scooters. Everything you could possibly need for your boating adventures is readily available!

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