The weather is getting warmer, y’all, so you know what that means…. more folks getting out on the water. Tons of folks are out splashing in the lake, dipping paddles in a stream, and folks waiting their turn to drop their boat off at the boat ramp. There are even more folks than usual on the water right now (which is great!) so we want to emphasize the importance of safe boating practices.
The first and most important thing you should do before setting foot in your bass boat or pontoon is to…. I bet you can guess… GET YOUR BOATERS LICENSE. Click here and follow the instructions on how to get your boaters license. You will need to take a written/oral exam or show that you have completed the Official Alabama Boating Education Course. This course is pretty comprehensive and goes into detail about how to boat safely.
Now that you have your license you think you are ready to get out on the water… but hold up! Do you have your sh*t together? Preparation is key before you even walk out the door: Did you check the weather? Did you pack plenty of snacks and water? Do you have life jackets for everyone who will be boating with you that day? There are many questions you should ask yourself before you get out on the water. Make a list or whatever will help you remember everything- trust me, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you prep properly. Take a look at this pre-departure checklist and adapt it to suit your needs!
Now that you are packed up and ready to go, you can now make your way to the boat ramp or dock. Remember to be mindful of your surroundings and be respectful of others as you are backing down the ramp and setting off from the dock. Woohoo! You’re finally on water. Make sure to follow all the “rules of the river” as you are heading to a honey hole or your favorite swimming spot. It is so important to follow these rules in order to keep yourself and others safe on the river. Not following these instructions can result in embarrassment, having a bad time, or serious injury or death.
Oh and one more thing: always leave a note.