Boating Safety Guide: Staying Safe on the Water
You learned the "rules of the road" before you sat behind the wheel of a car, and you should do the same before taking the helm. Just like studying to get your driver’s license, it is very important to have the boating information and certifications you need to be a safe boater before you hit the water.
In fact, a number of states require powerboat operators to take a boater’s education course and carry a license or certificate proving successful course completion any time they're on the water. By consulting our safe boating guide and obtaining the required certificates beforehand, you not only protect yourself and family but other boaters on the water.
To learn more about the boating rules, laws and regulations in your state regarding life jacket requirements, minimum age to operate a boat or personal watercraft, and so much more, visit our interactive map.
Boat Safety Checklist & Equipment List
No matter what type of boating you do, you'll need a few critical items onboard, including some required by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Using Your Boat's Engine Cut-Off Switch (ECOS)
Learning how to use your boat or personal watercraft's engine cut-off switch, or ECOS, is a must, especially for boats under 26 feet in length.
Safe Boating Guides - By Topic
- Follow our pre-departure checklist to double check that you have everything you need for a day on the water.
- You can have a safe vessel year round by utilizing our semi-annual maintenance guide.
Latest Wave of Boating News & Resources
Thrill seekers in search of the most haunted places in the U.S. should add these spooky locations to their boating bucket list. From small historic towns to coastal cities with ghostly visitors around every corner, cruise on in—if you dare.
The 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show takes place Oct. 27-31 at Bahia Mar and Pier Sixty-Six Marina in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The five-day event will showcase more than 1,300 boats from over 1,200 exhibitors from 50 countries.
"Should I winterize my boat?" - That's a common question asked by many new boaters. The answer depends a lot on the climate where you live, in addition to a few other factors including storage, frequency of winter-use, and more.