Congratulations! You finally bought your first boat, and you can’t wait to take it out on the waters. After taking your boating course, you probably learned a lot in the past months about boating rules and regulations. Did you know that around 8% of US families own a boat? Come summer, you will see empty marinas as most owners will be out enjoying the pleasant weather and getting a nice tan.
You probably know most of the boating basics, but why not test your knowledge before putting your hands on the wheel? It takes years for people to learn everything there is about boats. Sometimes, even experienced boaters need a little help.
Here are five common boating questions and their answers:
Q1. Can a Teenager Drive a Boat With No Adult Supervision?
The legal age restrictions relating to who can operate a boat differ in every state. Generally, a 17-year-old can operate a boat but with adult supervision. Do check the state’s boating laws to ensure that you are following them. If anyone is caught without a boating certification, they are charged with a fine.
Q2. Do Boating Certificates Expire?
No. Unlike a driver’s license, which is subject to expiring, a boating license does not expire. Of course, the state laws might change in the future. In this case, you will have to retake the course. If you lose your boating license, you can always request a new one from the state’s page.
Q3. Do I Need to Register My Boat?
Each state has its regulations. For example, a non-motorized PWC, which is shorter than 16 ft., does not need to be registered in Florida. On the other hand, all sailboats in California that are more than 8 ft. long, along with every size motorized craft, need to be registered.
Q4. Where Can I Find Boating and Fishing Charts and Maps?
Google Maps regularly updates all types of routes, but they focus on roads rather than rivers. Browse Navionics or MyTopo for water-related options. You can also visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website for other options. Their coastal maps will give you exactly what you are looking for.
Q5. What’s the Number .1 Boating Rule?
When it comes to boating safety, there are 5 Golden Rules. No. 1 is wearing a life jacket at all times. The remaining four are: Always dress appropriately for swimming, know your limits, don’t boat alone, and bring backup. These are only the top five, and there are a few more, such as having a first-aid kit, flares for signaling when you are in distress, and additional food supply to last for a few days in case help arrives late.
Bet you didn’t know the answer to some of these questions. If you did, kudos for keeping up with your boating information! The information mentioned above is pretty basic, and knowing it can save your life and those on board. Check out Part 2 of this blog post if you want to know more.
If you plan to buy a boat, the first thing you need to do is build a dock for it. Visit the website EZ Dock Texas for options such as floating docks, do-it-yourself docks, drive-on docks, and more. To request a quote, email them here. For more information, call (800) 654-8168.