Boating Safety Guide: Staying Safe on the Water

You learned the "rules of the road" before you sat behind the wheel of a car, and you should do the same before taking the helm. Just like studying to get your driver’s license, it is very important to have the boating information and certifications you need to be a safe boater before you hit the water.

In fact, a number of states require powerboat operators to take a boater’s education course and carry a license or certificate proving successful course completion any time they're on the water. By consulting our safe boating guide and obtaining the required certificates beforehand, you not only protect yourself and family but other boaters on the water.

Get Started with a list of our Basic Safe Boating Tips

Pre-Departure Checklist

Before you leave the dock, you'll need to ensure you have the right safety gear and equipment on your boat, as required by regulation. Our Boat Safety Checklist & Safety Equipment list can help.

Boat Safety Checklist & Safety Equipment List

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Running aground with a boat is a common mistake made by many boaters. So, how to you prevent it from happening to you? It all starts with situational awareness, and learning how to maintain a proper lookout while operating your boat.

Following a spring commissioning checklist is the best way to get your boat ready for the upcoming spring and summer boating season. De-winterizing your boat includes caring for three major onboard systems: engines, plumbing, and batteries and electrical.

If you perfect these boat handling skills now, your more experienced boating peers will give you the wave of approval next time they pass you out on the water. Start by brushing up on the basics of launching, driving, docking, anchoring, and retrieving your boat.