A summer afternoon on a pontoon boat is a great way to relax and spend time with friends and family, but when your companions want to take a break to swim, a plan of action is important. Not only do you need to know how to safety beach your pontoon, but also set guidelines for those looking to swim. Make sure you take the following steps to safety beach and swim from a pontoon boat.

Slow in the shallows

As you enter shallow water, reduce your speed drastically. If you’re unsure about the depth, go as slowly as possible to prevent grounding your pontoon. As a precaution, trim the engine up part of the way as you enter the shallows to reduce draft. By tilting part of the way, you’ll have an inch or two to tilt the motor up, which should allow you to back off the ground.

Don’t move until the motor is off

Okay, don’t move might be a little dramatic, but no one should leave the boat to enter the water until the motor is off. Even if they’re on the opposite side of the boat, a running motor means that someone could drive in an instant, leading to a potential disaster. Make sure everyone remains on the boat until the motor is off.

Test the depth

When you’re in shallow water, it’s hard to know the exact depth. Make sure the first people into the water aren’t diving or jumping with any type of force. Use the ladder to descend into the water and test the depth around the pontoon before any jumps or dives are attempted.

Keep your pontoon free from other boats

Rating up with friends can make for a great day on the water, but if you do, use fenders to prevent the boats from colliding with one another.

Owning a pontoon boat in Florida is an amazing experience, but like any type of boat ownership, it comes with responsibility. If you’re seeking a new or used boat, see our massive selection from a variety of independent sellers and dealers throughout the state.