National Safe Boating Week is May 16-22.
For boating enthusiasts, it’s the perfect time to update your family’s on-the-water safety plans or sign up for a refresher course. Florida’s waterways become increasingly popular destinations for residents and tourists alike.
- Prepare/update your float plan. Whether you plan to set sail for a few hours or several days, it is recommended that you provide a copy of your Float Plan to a friend, family member, and/or the marina. The basics are simple: where you plan to go AND when you plan to be home. If you do not return when expected, your Float Plan provides key details for the Coast Guard or other rescue agency to begin a search.
- Safety Courses. Although Florida does not have a boating license, state law requires all boaters born after January 1, 1988, that operate a motorboat of 10hp or more to obtain a Boating Safety Education ID Card from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Check out these FWC courses available throughout the state and online. The U.S. Coast Guard also promotes a range of online and classroom watercraft safety courses designed for recreational boaters.
- Vessel Safety Checklist. Last but not least, the Coast Guard offers no charge safety inspections for boats. With a goal of putting safety first, there are no fines or consequences if your boat does not pass inspection. Sign up today!
- S. Coast Guard. For safety tips, navigation info, weather updates or to share your float plan with family or friends, check out the US Coast Guard’s all-in-one mobile app.
- Boaters who prefer setting sail rather than motoring along waterways will appreciate this WeatherFlow app that provides users with access to more than 50,000 weather stations around the globe. Wind data from both real-time updates and forecasts are available.
- Boating Suite. Designed with list makers in mind, this app makes it easy to keep track of these important “logs” every boat captain needs: fuel, maintenance, vessel and expenses.
- Boater’s Pocket Reference. For those new to boating and seasoned sailors alike, this handy guide provides a wealth of helpful information. Boating regulations, navigational aids, boat trailering tips, and more than 100 types of calculators for boaters are included.