Nothing beats a vacation day spent out on the water. When you made the investment in your boat, you pictured the sun warming your skin, the spray from the waves and the wind in your hair. That is why you bought it, right? A gorgeous day on your own boat is the stuff dreams are made of. Unfortunately, a dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if you do not take the proper precautions. Take a few preparatory steps before you hit the water, and you are sure to enjoy your hard-earned time off.

1. Maintain Your Boat

Everyone knows that an automobile needs regular care, but many marine vehicle owners overlook important maintenance that could mean the difference between safety and disaster. Don’t neglect scheduled maintenance such as oil changes. Keeping your engine properly lubricated ensures you will not run into any hiccups on your adventure.

Another important aspect of maintenance is keeping your boat clean and protected from damage. Fiberglass requires regular washing and waxing to preserve. A dirty exterior may hide leaks or other wear and tear, making boat lifts south Florida a valuable investment. They keep your boat out of the water while it is being stored. This limits dirt and damage from prolonged water exposure.

2. Bring Appropriate Safety Supplies

Taking a short amount of time to gather a few precautionary supplies will go a long way to protect you and your passengers from potential harm after you launch. First, always bring enough properly-fitted life jackets for everyone on board. This is the most basic and important of all safety tips to follow. A fire extinguisher is always a good idea, too. It’s an item you won’t miss until you desperately need it. Stow some flares on your boat as well. They’re a fantastic way to signal for help if you are in distress and get caught out after dark.

Finally, bring along a form of communication other than your cell phone. Batteries can die, phones can get wet or you may find yourself out of cell range. A very high-frequency radio can solve these stressful scenarios for you.

3. Stay Sober

Enjoying an alcoholic beverage on the water may seem like the epitome of a good time, but alcohol contributes to nearly half of all boating accidents. Besides being dangerous and potentially fatal, operating a boat while intoxicated is a federal offense. It carries with it heavy fines and possible jail time.

Though it may seem fun, combining drinking and boating is never worth the risk. Protect yourself and your passengers and leave the drinking for after your day out on your boat.

Every voyage on the water should be an enjoyable one. If you follow these boating tips, you can relax and enjoy your adventure — because you deserve it!