March is here and boating season is just around the corner! As the weather warms up, there is nothing better than spending the day out on Lake Gaston. Renting a boat for you or your family is a great way to enjoy the warmer weather. If you decide to take a rental boat out on Lake Gaston, it is essential to understand some basic safety tips. Eaton Ferry Marina has put together some boating safety tips to keep you safe on Lake Gaston.
Boating Safety Tips
Proper Fitting Lifejackets
Proper fitting lifejackets are the most important item to have with you. In case of an emergency, lifejackets will save your life. Children should always wear a life jacket whenever they are near the water. Make sure lifejackets are not too loose, as you can slip out of them or your head can go underwater. A good rule to follow is to use three fingers to measure the size. If you can fit three fingers in the shoulder area of the lifejacket, then it is too big.
To rent a boat, you will need a valid driver’s license. Any other people with you who plan to drive the boat will also need a valid driver’s license. Operating a watercraft is the same as driving a car on the roads. It should be done with extreme caution and the same care should be taken. You should have a designated driver who is familiar with operating a boat and also remains completely sober.
Check the Weather
Like any outdoor activity, the weather can make or break your day. While you can still have a fun day with a bit of rain, make sure to be aware of any potential severe weather. Lightning is a hazard and can be extremely dangerous.
Learn the Rules of the Water
There are a few rules to follow when driving a boat.
Respect no-wake zones. If you are in a no-wake zone, do not go faster than idle speed.
Give other boats plenty of room and show intent. Make your direction of travel very clear and do not make sudden course changes. Stay far away from other boats. Accidents happen more often and easier than many people think.
Avoid restricted areas and official watercraft. Review a map of Lake Gaston to know where you can and cannot drive. Restricted areas can be private or government property and can even be due to low water levels. Also, do not get closer to police watercraft.
Understand Safe Docking Technique
Docking a boat can be complicated and your driver should be familiar. If you are unsure of property docking techniques, ask an Eaton Ferry Marina employee for assistance. The number one rule of docking a boat is to take it slow and be patient. Always make sure you have dock fenders on the side of the boat that will make contact with the dock to prevent damage.
Take a Boating Safety Course
Taking an online boating safety course is one of the best things you can do. These courses will help you understand how to safely drive a boat. Many regions require a boating safety course to drive a boat.
Make Sure You Have Your Boating Essentials
Pack up your essentials! Even if you are just renting a boat for the day, you will want to be prepared. Items like a first aid kit, plastic baggies, and beach towels will make sure you have everything you need. Learn more about boating essentials for your day on Lake Gaston.
When renting a boat on Lake Gaston, you want to be prepared to have the best day possible. By following some of these boating safety tips, you will make sure your day on the lake is enjoyable. If you are looking for boat rentals on Lake Gaston, visit us at Eaton Ferry Marina! We are located in the heart of the lake and provide a wide range of marina services. From boat rentals to boat storage and sales.