Boating is a blast! Enjoying a gorgeous day on the water is a wonderful way to relax, have fun, and create memories with friends and family. However, it’s important to consider boat safety to help keep accidents and injuries from ruining an excursion. Here are four simple tips to consider before leaving shore.

Watch the Weather
First and foremost, make sure that the day’s weather is conducive to boating. Bad weather can not only put a damper on a good time, but it can also be dangerous. Boaters should check the forecast for storms and high winds and avoid the water if such conditions are expected. Similarly, if threatening clouds or temperature drops occur after leaving shore, it’s best to head back in.

Have a Safety Plan in Place
Basic safety practices go a long way. Making sure that each boat passenger wears a properly fitted lifejacket is a great first step. Designate a responsible, experienced person to drive the boat, and have someone else ready to step in if the driver becomes incapacitated for any reason. Boaters should use a checklist to make sure all necessary supplies are on board, and inform someone—a friend, the marina, the bed and breakfast where they’re lodging—that they’ll be on the water, along with passenger names, contact information, boat make and model, and expected trip length.

Use Common Sense
It’s easy to become distracted on the water, but using common sense is key to accident prevention. Boaters should always be aware of signage and boat traffic, including no-wake zones, anticipated turns, and avoidance of (or extreme caution in) congested areas. While it may seem like the perfect opportunity to crack open a cold beer, keep in mind that boating under the influence is a hazardous offense that is punishable by law. Save the booze for the land.

Have the Boat Checked
The United States Coast Guard offers boat safety checks free of charge, in which they ensure that the vessel is in good working condition and contains all of the safety equipment required by state and federal governments. If the boat is a rental, ask the owner of the marina when the last safety inspection was performed.

Newport’s stunning harbor and rich history as an Atlantic boating destination make it the perfect choice for those who enjoy time on the water. If you’re planning a trip to the area, Ivy Lodge offers cozy, Victorian-inspired lodging nestled near downtown Newport. Contact us today at 401-849-6865 to make a reservation!

Wise On The Water: Four Tips For Safe Boating, The Ivy Lodge