Tidbits of Boating Safety Knowledge

Keep these boating safety knowledge tidbits in mind when venturing out on the water.

June 29, 2011
Sunset on the water

When it comes to boating safety, there are a variety of knowledge areas one should be familiar with before setting out on the water. Here are some tidbits of knowledge every safe boater should know.

Navigation and Boat Handling:

  • When a boat is approaching you head on, you should veer slightly but decisively to starboard and pass him on his port side.
  • In Boatspeak, the boater who has the right of way is the “stand-on vessel.”
  • When reading a navigation chart, depth soundings printed in small numbers on the chart are the water depth calculated to be at the mean low tide.
  • When loading your boat on a trailer it is best to slightly submerge the trailer wheels and ease the boat into the bunks until it stops. Use the winch to draw the bow to the bow roller.

Life Jacket and Water Safety:

  • No universal labeling exists to indicate whether a life jacket is set for auto or manual inflation. It is incumbent on the owner to be sure the user is aware of how the life jacket functions.
  • When swimming from a boat be sure to have a reboarding ladder within reach from the water, turn the engine off, remove the keys from the ignition, anchor the boat and keep an eye on its position in relation to shore.


  • The combination of rope, chain or cable used to fix your vessel to the anchor (and, in turn, the bottom) is known as anchor rode.
  • When anchoring in a current, it’s normally safest to point the bow upstream and drop the anchor from the bow.