10 Boating Safety Tips When Getting a Boat for Rent Miami

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There’s nothing quite like spending a sunny afternoon with friends and family on a boat for rent Miami. Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been boating for years, it’s always wise to review the boating rules to ensure that everyone remains safe. This is especially true if you are looking to rent a boat for the day. Before you choose your boat for rent Miami, check out these essential safety tips

Have a Boat Safety Kit

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We have safety kits at home and in our cars, so why not have one while boating? No matter what size your vessel–whether you choose a pontoon or a SeaRay–having a kit on board will help you stay prepared should you run into an emergency. There are some essentials that every kit should include:

Flashlight: There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in the dark or having to squeeze into a tight dark spot without having anything to illuminate the space. Having a flashlight along with extra batteries will come in handy if you run out of fuel, or you end up on the waters after the sun sets.

Distress Flags: Displaying a distress flag is one of the easiest ways to be spotted by other boaters in case of an emergency. However, flags are harder to see in the evenings, so it’s smart to pair them with a pyrotechnic distress signal–such as flares.

Whistle: Having a whistle goes hand in hand with the distress flags. Along with a VDS, you will want a loud whistle that can draw attention to you. No matter what you do, be sure to make sure that it is waterproof, or it’ll essentially be useless.

First-Aid Kit: A boating first-aid kit might look a bit different than the first-aid kits that you are used to home. Along with the essentials such as bandages, gauze, and antihistamines, you’ll want seasickness tablets, jellyfish sting relief, and electrolyte tablets or powder.

Fire Extinguisher: Just because you are surrounded by water doesn’t mean that your boat can’t catch on fire very quickly. Most of the time, you can expect your boat for rent Miami to have one. While unfortunate, it does happen more often than expected. Having a fire extinguisher can help prevent severe damage if a fire breaks out. Before boarding, make sure that everyone on board knows where it is located and how to use it should they need to do so suddenly.

Check Weather Conditions

Before jetting out on the water, check the weather conditions. Because Miami’s weather can be quite unpredictable, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible. Especially because the days can start warm and sunny and turn dark and gray very quickly. If you are traveling to a new destination, you will also want to consider the destination’s weather as well as local temps.

Another thing to consider is water temperatures. Even if you are met with nothing but sun, the water can be quite chilly–especially during the spring and fall months. Should you capsize, you will then be stuck in these frigid waters, which can be quite dangerous for you and your guests.

Have the Proper Life Jackets

The US Coast Guard requires that there be at least one life jacket for every person on board. Traveling on a boat for rent Miami without is not only very risky but also illegal. Aside from the legality of it, you’ll want to make sure that every person has a life vest that is going to fit them properly. If renting, have everyone on board try the vests on to ensure they won’t be left without one for the duration of your sail.

Designate an Assistant Captain

Although there is likely only going to be one person driving the boat during your trip, you’ll want to designate an assistant skipper to be your second pair of eyes and ears while on the water. Not only will you want them to keep an eye out, you’ll want to make sure that they are incredibly familiar with handling the boat should you need to stop sailing at any point.

Take a Boating Safety Course

While taking a boating safety course may not be mandatory for everyone, it sure is a good idea when considering a boat for rent Miami. It’s one of the best ways to avoid unwanted accidents and help keep you informed and aware during your sail. According to the 2019 recreational boating statistics put out by the US Coast Guard, “70% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction.” They also found that “only 20% of deaths occurred on the vessels where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate.” There seems to be a good difference of results there.

So what is a boating safety course? They are classes that teach you the absolute basic knowledge that a boat operator should have. You can take these in person or online. To find either an online course or an in-person course in your state, visit USCG Boating’s site.

One last thing to consider about taking a boating safety course is the fact that it can save you a little bit of money on your insurance. Many insurance companies will offer reduced rates for those who have a boating education certificate. More knowledge and the chance to save money? Sounds like a win-win situation to us.

Avoid Alcohol on a Boat for Rent Miami

While it may be tempting to kick back on a boat for rent miami and relax with a drink in your hand while renting a boat with your friends and family, drinking while sailing is much like drinking while driving. It is not only illegal, but it can also be deadly. In fact, according to those 2019 recreational boating stats, “alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 23% of deaths.”

If you decide that you do want to enjoy a adult beverages, make sure that your designated assistant captain focuses on the navigation and stays away from anything that could alter his judgement.

Do a Check For Harmful Fumes

Although the rental company should check for any harmful fumes beforehand, triple-checking before making your way out on the water is crucial. While it may seem silly, toxic fumes can mean that there are serious safety issues with your boat. Carbon dioxide–a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas–can quickly accumulate and lead to CO poisoning, which can be fatal.

Knowing where to check to ensure that everything is locked and enclosed correctly to avoid exposure is vital on a boat for rent Miami is essential. On a boat, some of the CO sources are:

  • The engine
  • Gas generator
  • Cooking range
  • Grill
  • Space heater
  • Water heater

It is wise to avoid these areas while running to help prevent exposure. If you do smell any unwanted fumes before leaving, do not turn on the engine and report immediately. If you believe that CO exposure has occurred. Be on the watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Irritated eyes
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness

Follow Proper Procedures

Boats with motors are much like cars in that there are a set of procedures to follow when operating. For example, there are anchoring procedures, docking procedures, and speed safety measures. When anchoring, you want to make sure that you use a depth finder to avoid dragging your anchor. You’ll also never want to tie an anchor to the stern of the boat. This can pull the stern down far enough to bring in water, which is very dangerous. When docking, use your bumpers, slow down, and secure your docking lines.

Lastly, watch your speed. Although there are no speed limit signs posted on the water, you can be issued a citation if caught going at excessive speeds–especially if you are visiting a busy area. Use your common sense and maintain a practical speed.

Stay Hydrated and Protected in a Boat for Rent Miami

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Enjoying a boat for rent Miami in the hot sun can be quite brutally warm if not well equipped, especially during the summer months. It is possible to lose liters of water at a time when sweating, which can quickly lead to dehydration. There’s nothing worse than the headaches, dizziness, and fainting that can occur from dehydration, particularly if you’re on vacation. The last thing you want is to end up in the hospital with an IV in your arm. Even if you are not feeling thirsty, if you know that you will be in the sun for long periods of time, drink water. Have an excess of water bottles on board so you’ll never worry about running out. The same goes for sunscreen. If you are genuinely concerned about sun exposure, bring a wide-brim hat, a rash guard, and sunglasses.

Know What Drowning Looks Like

The last safety tip you should know before renting a boat in Miami is knowing what drowning looks like. Although most of us have not come across anyone drowning before, we have seen it portrayed in movies as thrashing and loud yelling before the person goes under. However, this is not typically the case. In most cases, it happens very quickly and very quietly. Things to look for when drowning are:

  • Silence
  • A head tilted up trying to get air
  • Arms pushing downward as they try to remain on the surface
  • Clinging to any surface they can find

If you believe someone is drowning and you are a strong swimmer, jump in immediately. It’s safer to rescue someone who you feel is drowning than to leave them alone until you are sure they are struggling.

Now that you have read these ten boating safety tips, you are ready to pick up your rental and hit the open seas. To find a boat for rent Miami, check out all of our listings here!

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