Boating Safety Laws

Now that Memorial Day is over and boating season is officially kicked off, we thought now was a good time to be thinking about boating safety! If you’re not sure your boat is ready for the water, there are a few rules and recommendations that apply across the board you should note.

Although boating laws almost always vary from state to state, there are a few general considerations. For instance, every boat should have enough life jackets onboard for each passenger along with flotation devices that can be thrown, flares and communication devices. If your boat is lacking some of these materials, particularly life jackets, be sure to restock or you could be fined were the Coast Guard to do a routine check on your boat to make sure it aligns with federal regulations. Your state laws, however, are often reinforced by your state’s DNR or Sheriff’s office, so make sure you know what your state requires you to have.

Other important rules: your state probably requires children under a certain age to wear life jackets. For some it’s under the age of eight, others it can be 12. Make sure you know what your state requires before you go out on the water with kids.

As always, it’s a great idea to make sure your OceanGrafix charts are up-to-date as well. If you think your chart might be a bit old, our charts are printed on-the-spot using the most recent information available. You can’t get much more updated than that!

You can always get a free inspection by using the U.S. Coast Guard website. Or, you can get in touch with your local Power Squadrons as they do vessel safety checks as well. They’ll schedule a time to make sure everything is in working order and safe for FREE, so why not take advantage of it?

Let’s all do our part on the water to ensure a safe 2015 boating season!

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