With Labor Day Weekend coming in the next few weeks, we wanted to remind you of some important tips to know before celebrating on the water. Knowing your area and even boat safety can make a difference in preparing for your weekend. Continue reading to learn more!
The official end of summer, Labor Day weekend often serves as a “last hoorah” for many boaters. The three-day weekend is a staple of boating season, providing the ideal time to relax, unwind and enjoy The Great Outdoors!
Like all major summertime holiday weekends, Labor Day weekend brings with it high boater traffic. At ilearntoboat, we love seeing people taking to the water, enjoying their time, and making memories with friends and family! However, we wanted to take the time to remind you to stay safe; times of increased water traffic usually correspond with increased boating accidents.
There are several things you can do to help protect yourself and stay safe this Labor Day! Here are a few.
Labor Day Weekend Boater Safety Tips
Tip #1 – Take a Boater Safety course
Okay, we are biased on this one. Regardless of whether you chose our course or another NASBLA approved course, we think a boater safety course is the absolute best thing you can do to keep yourself, your friends and family, and other boaters safe!
When choosing a course, make sure you look for one approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators or NASBLA. NASBLA is a national nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
A NASBLA-approved Boater Safety course will teach you how to handle your boat safely and how to navigate the waters and other boaters. You will learn the anatomy of a boat, state boating requirements as well as emergency planning.
Completing a Boater Safety course will make you comfortable and confident on the water!
Tip #2 – Know the area you’ll be boating in
It’s always important to be familiar with the area you are boating. Getting lost or run your boat aground are easy ways to ruin your Labor Day fun!
Many boats do come with factory depth finders and navigation systems. There are also several aftermarket options that you can purchase and install yourself to help keep you on the right track and out of trouble.
If an install sounds like too much effort (we agree)- there’s an app for that!
One of our favorite boating navigation apps comes from our partners at Wavve Boating. The Wavve Boating app shows you where NOT to go using customized nautical charts. Their community feature is ideal for any long boating weekend; find your friends, search for marinas, ramps, and even nearby restaurants with this feature!
Wavve Boating provides:
- Local hotspots
- Friends and family location tracking
- Route sharing
- An engaged community of boaters
- Detailed weather reports
- Tide tracking
- Shallow water markers
- Customizable maps
The best part? For a limited time, ilearntoboat students can get a FREE 2-week trial of Wavve Boating—just in time for Labor Day weekend!
Tip #3 – Have a breakdown plan
Do you know what to do if you get stranded or run out of gas on the water? It’s essential to have a game plan. Ensure that you always have the numbers for boat towing and emergency services saved in your phone before you head out on the water. Or you can let one of our favorite partners, Sea Tow handle it for you.
Sea Tow Gold members enjoy:
- Priority service
- 24/7 dispatch
- Free towing with nationwide coverage
- Fuel delivery
Sea Tow will always be there for you. Sea Tow and their many partners will be able to help you out of trouble in any area. All the services covered under your Sea Tow membership will be covered even if the service is contracted out.
That kind of peace of mind will undoubtedly add to your enjoyment on the water!
As part of their commitment to safe boating, our friends at Sea Tow are offering ilearntoboat students $20 off their Gold Card. This membership provides maximum coverage for one full year.
For just $0.44, you will have rescue assistance on-call any time, any day!
Tip #4 – Get Boat insured
Only Arkansas and Utah require boaters to carry boat insurance. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need it. It’s common for banks and marinas to place insurance requirements on boats.
According to the Global Marine Insurance Agency, some lenders may even “force place” a marine insurance policy onto your boat if proof of insurance is not furnished. Many marinas will also require that you maintain current boat insurance to keep the boat at their facility.
Benefits of boat insurance include:
- It protects your investment!
- It reduces your liability in the event of an accident
- It covers you if someone without boat insurance causes an accident with you
- Coverage is flexible—pay only for what you need
- With Total Loss Replacement coverage, you’re protected if your boat sinks or suffers irreparable damage
As part of our dedication to helping our students get out on the water safely, we’ve partnered with Global Marine Insurance, a leading recreational Boat Insurance Agency, since 1989.
Want to get the best insurance for your needs without having to call around? Let our partners at Global Marine help!
Tip #5 – Have fun!