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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Boating can be a social affair, especially when you raft up with all your boating buddies. Learning how to properly raft up with other boats involves understanding how you secure the boats together, and how you’ll keep your raft of boats in place.

Both new and experienced boaters should all take time to master important safety skills, including how to identify different parts of a boat, read channel markers, tie boating knots, improve boat handling, and understand the "rules of the road."

Take me out to the ballpark–by boat! For great family fun, boating and baseball go hand in hand. These 10 stadiums are right on the water, with dockage nearby, ideal for boaters looking to head to the ballpark by boat. Did your favorite team make the list?