Boating with Friends and Family

Tips For On Board Guests

Captain Kids

Whenever you invite friends and family to come boating for the day, a weekend or an extended cruise, you should explain to them in advance what is expected of them, especially if they are not experienced boaters.

  • If they are expected to perform duties onboard make sure they know this (and how to do it) before you give the order to swab the deck or handle lines.
  • Make sure each guest has a good pair of non-skid deck shoes.
  • If you are planning to visit a foreign port or center when boating, be sure to let your friends and family know in advance what documents and ID they need to bring.
  • Make sure your guests know that your times of departure are based on tide, current, weather conditions and time to make the next destination. You should explain that they should be onboard, have gear stowed and be ready to leave well before the departure time you have set.
  • Familiarize friends and family with boating safety tips and emergency procedures before leaving the dock. Explain fueling procedures, docking and undocking plans, etc.
  • Make sure someone onboard is able to take over for you and operate the VHF radio to ask for help should you become disabled.

Boating with Kids

Recreational family boating is a great way to spend time with your children. There are many tasks that can be assigned to youngsters to teach responsibility and being out in nature provides endless lessons for the young boater. Nonetheless, if youngsters are going to be joining you, there are a few features to at least consider when purchasing family boats. Our boat marina & ramp locator can also help you find a suitable family boating center in your area.

  • When boating with youngsters, consider family boats that have a cuddy cabin. Runabouts, bow riders and deck boats, even some center console fishing boats are sometimes equipped with a small cuddy cabin to offer a comfortable center to kids if they need a nap or are getting too much sun.
  • Buy a good lifejacket or life vest with a collar that turns a child face up in the water. It must have strong waist and crotch straps, a handle on the collar, and preferably be a bright yellow or orange color for good visibility.
  • Attach a plastic safety whistle to the lifejacket and teach the child how to use the whistle, and practice using it.

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