Sea Tow Shares Top Tips to Consider Before Leaving the Dock

Boating activity on the South Florida waterways is expected to increase over the July 4th weekend

As the boating industry undergoes a record number of new and existing boaters on the water, Sea Tow, a member-driven international marine assistance provider, anticipates another busy summer on the water in 2022. The company is sharing its top tips to improve safety on local waterways to increase boater safety:

  1. Have a checklist: Before leaving the dock, have a pre-departure list to review all critical systems (i.e., engine check, battery levels, fuel levels, etc.).
  2. Don’t solely rely on the fuel gauge: Boaters should keep a fuel log so they know how much fuel their boat uses, when it was last filled up, how many hours the boat has run and how much fuel is left.
  3. Follow the rule of thirds: Be sure to have enough fuel to allow for: 1/3 of fuel to head to the destination, 1/3 of fuel to head back to the dock and 1/3 of fuel “just in case.”
  4. Check the charts: Review the intended voyage plan and be aware of sandbars, shallow areas, channel and buoy locations, etc., so the boat doesn’t run aground and there are no surprises.
  5. Carry extra lines and fenders: Both are needed when rafting up with friends or tying up at a waterfront restaurant.
  6. Safety first: Boaters should inform passengers of their boat safety rules, such as where life jackets are located and that they must remain seated while the boat is underway. This process helps to avoid distracting the captain during the voyage.
  7. Keep two anchors aboard: You never know when one might get away, so always have a spare and make sure it’s the appropriate size for the boat and where the hook will be dropped.
  8. When in doubt, slow down or stop: Trying to figure things out while underway can often lead to hitting something or running aground.
  9. Be courteous: Boaters should watch their wake and wave when fellow boaters pass by.
  10. Always have a backup plan: It’s often said “when the unexpected happens” because no one ever plans on needing help on the water. Having on-water assistance like Sea Tow can ensure service is close by

“At Sea Tow, we are big advocates of getting out on the water and having fun, and we want boaters – new and salty – to do so confidently,” Kristen Frohnhoefer says, president of Sea Tow. “Our captains are your resource on and off your boat, on and off the water. They know the local waters and can help with navigation assistance, tides and weather, anchorages and even mishap prevention tips. No one plans for something to go wrong on the water, so it’s important to take the proper steps before you push off.”

Members of Sea Tow pay one annual rate and receive comprehensive member benefits, including 24/7 dispatch. Sea Tow also offers its members free boat towing in their home area, unlimited dock-to-dock towing on all boats, alternatives to hauling such as battery jumps and fuel delivery, and nationwide offshore coverage, along with additional paid on-water services such as boat salvage and recovery, vessel for hire and environmental response.

SFBW Staff
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