Smooth Sailing: Ensuring Child Safety During a Boating Trip

Boating with your family is a fun-filled activity. It’s a great way to slow down, cruise to new destinations, and create lasting memories. Taking them sailing can even be a rewarding and educational experience, especially if it’s their first time in the open the sea.

Before you search for boat rentals in Smyrna Beach, FL, however, keep child safety precautions at the forefront of your mind. Fortunately, the process is no different from beach visits or amusement park visits. By preparing for the trip and establishing reasonable ground rules, you can have fun knowing that your family is safe.

At Sand Dollar Boat Rentals, we want you to make the most of your boating experience. Here are some safety tips you can follow to ensure everyone stays happy and secure on board.

Use the Proper Lifejacket

A U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket is a must for children 13 years old and below. Wearing them on the boat guarantees extra safety. Look for an age-appropriate design that comes with string waist and crotch snaps, a handle on the collar, and head support.

Take the kids along with you when you buy the lifejacket to make sure their gear fits them properly. Regardless of whether you’re on the dock or the cockpit of the boat, tell your kids to wear their lifejackets in case they fall into the water.

Childproof the Boat

Making sure a boat is a child-friendly area before your little ones even set foot in it is crucial. This entails stowing breakable and dangerous items on board. Equipment like gear boxes, winches, windlasses, and ground tackles should be out of reach. Moreover, be sure to tell your children that areas where ropes are located out of bounds because it could cause injuries or slips.

Keep safety gear like flare guns and EPIRBS away from the children, as well. Don’t lock them away, though, since you’ll need to access them quickly in case of an emergency.

Keep Kids Entertained while at Sea

Restless or bored kids can cause trouble on board. So, keep them occupied during the cruise; let them sit at the helm of the boat with the captain, for instance. This way, you can keep watch over them easily, as well. It also helps to point out landmarks and teach them how to follow maps as you navigate the waters.

Choose the Proper Boating Hours

Just like rush hour traffic, waterways have primetime boating hours, as well. Often, boaters head to the ocean around mid- to late morning then stay out until the late afternoon or the early evening. To avoid boat traffic, start your trip as early as possible or wait until fellow boaters have made their way back to the dock in the late afternoon. Early mornings and evenings provide cooler temperatures and smoother waves — the ideal conditions for boating with children.

At Sand Dollar Boat Rentals, we stress the importance of boat safety as a family. With the right protection, you can have an enjoyable experience out of the water. Contact us to reserve your boat today.

Florida law requires anyone born after 1987 to take a Boating Safety Course, click here to take the course on-line.