WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
BEFORE THE TOW
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First things first, before you launch your boat in the water, make sure all of the necessary plugs are in and secure. If you are unfamiliar with your boat plugs, have a read in your boats operators manual for specific information on your vessel.
2. Boat Ramp + Water Access
Make sure you have access to the boat ramp you plan to use as well as the conditions of that boat ramp. Water levels often change, and can change the way the boat ramp operates. Note the depth of the water you are dropping your boat into and ensure its deep enough for a safe entry.
3. Battery + Jump Pack
Check your battery is charged and securely fastened. For safety, it is not a bad idea to carry along with you a battery operated jump pack in the unlikely event your boat battery dies. Remember to NEVER leave your boat with the radio, or lights turned on for a significant period of time while the boat is off or else your boat may not have enough power to start up again.
Make sure you have more than enough gas for your adventure out on the water. Know your water way and where the local fill up stations are. It is also smart to have a plan as to where you will fill up on your route, and make a note of what time they close.
5. Water Access
Be aware of the access to the boat ramp you plan to use as well as the conditions of that boat ramp. Water levels often fluctuate, and can change the way the ramp operates.
6. Life Vests
Always make sure you have as many USCG approved life vests for each person on the boat at all times. All children 12 + under must wear life vests on the boat at all times.
7. Be Aware of Local Laws
Always ensure you are operating within laws and regulations of your state. Look into what is needed on your vessel to make it legal and safe such as a throwable flotation device, fire extinguisher, registration, etc.
8. Alert Friends and Family
It is always important to make sure people know where you are and your planned route of travel while operating out on the water. Send your friend a text, or even share your location with them so you have a contact on shore incase you need it!
9. Signaling device
It is always good to have a signaling device out on the water. Having a whistle, or even better, an air horn can allow you to quickly get the attention of others in case of emergency. If you are operating in open waters, a visual signaling device such as a flare is something you would want to keep accessible at all times.
10. Paddle/ Ore
Having a paddle onboard your boat is key to a safe day on the water. Paddles can become extremely handy if in the event your boat stops operating properly, or simply to manuver in tight quarters.