While spending recreational time on the water can make for a great day enjoying the outdoors, knowing how to avoid accidents on small boats will ensure the outing ends safely for all concerned. There are safety practices that must be followed closely when boating at any time, but when traveling in a small boat accidents are more frequent simply because of stability and visibility factors. It is imperative when operating smaller sized boats that every individual on board be aware of basic safety practices, and it is the boat owner's task to educate those who are not familiar prior to ever leaving the dock.
Accidents on small boats can be avoided in large part by a boat owner that is knowledgeable of marine laws and safety practices, and is adamant in adhering to responsibilities. Staying off the water at night and in bad weather conditions when visibility is poor, traveling at reasonable speeds and making turns at reduced speeds all contribute to accident avoidance. Boating in familiar waters and paying close attention to floating debris on the water can have tremendous impact in boating safety. Simple practices such as refraining from alcohol consumption and utilizing the safety input of passengers are perhaps the most important tools of all in avoiding accidents on small boats.
Maintaining proper equipment is imperative in avoiding accidents on small boats, and a small boat skipper must be insistent that all passengers use appropriate safety tools such as life jackets at all times. Small boats should never be overloaded with people or gear, and there should be more floatation devices on board than their are passengers. A working fire extinguisher and first aid kit should be checked regularly to ensure they are operational, and their location on the boat should be known by all passengers as well as the knowledge of how to use them.
Beyond all of these points of how to avoid accidents on small boats, perhaps enlisting the aid of passengers is the most wise manner to obtain safety. Rather than depending upon the two sets of eyes and one mind that the boat's skipper possesses to address all safety issues, an attentive boat owner can frequently learn of trouble ahead simply by verbal interactions with passengers. This can be especially helpful when it comes to children, who tend to notice strange occurrences well before their adult counterparts. Often times while boating a child's inquisitive nature can point out aspects of the boat's operation and function that can literally result in accident avoidance.