Did you recently buy a boat? Congratulations and welcome to the water!

Boaters can run their engines for up to 200 hours each year. This leaves a lot of potential for fun. But it also leaves room for mistakes if you don’t learn the ropes before riding the waves.

Read on to learn five top boating tips for beginners so that you may enjoy every second out there.

1. Watch The Weather

Some people simply look outside to decide how to dress for the day. Do not adopt this practice for boating though. 

Watch the weather before going on your boat, even if it appears nice at the moment. Storms can move in quickly over the water.

If they call for storms, stay off the water. If you want to catch the good weather while it lasts, at least do not venture too far out on the open water where you can end up stuck.

Thunder cannot hurt you, but it can tell you the distance of a storm and whether or not it is coming closer. If you count fewer seconds between each subsequent rumble, then get moving.

If you see lightning, head in immediately. Lightning strikes pose a serious risk to boating safety.

Big waves can make driving the boat difficult and very dangerous. They can start out of seemingly nowhere, so do not wait to see them.

A little rain won’t hurt anything. But, heavy downpours seriously affect visibility.

2. Learn the Waterways

Before you go exploring, learn the waterways you plan to travel. Invest in a map and ask experienced boaters about the area.

Though markers will tell you about shallow shoals, sand bars, and the like, getting turned around or stuck in poor visibility can make the situation dicey. Knowing your surroundings will help you remain calm and navigate the boat safely.

3. Everybody Needs A Life Jacket

Every person on the boat needs an accessible life jacket. Children under 12 must legally wear a lifejacket at all times. 

Even good swimmers can only swim so far out on open water in the case of an accident. And they cannot overpower strong water currents.

Anybody can drown! Plus, you won’t want to pay the hefty violation fines if a coast guard catches you short even one life jacket.

4. Ride The Waves Correctly

When the water swells a little, it may seem like fun to hit a couple of waves. This can damage your new boat and injure the people on it.

Slow your boat some so the bow does not lift out of the water. Gently go with the swell at a slight angle.

5. Never Boat Alone

One of the most important boating safety tips is to never boat alone. Especially as a new boater, you should not attempt this.

Other people can help you look out for safety markers, rocks, shallowing waters, and other boaters while you learn to navigate. Plus, if something ever happened, you want somebody there to call for help.

Boating Tips Keep You Safe

Boating tips do not prevent you from having fun on the water. In fact, following them keeps everything more exciting as they keep your boat and its passengers safe.

Looking for your first boat or somewhere to dock it? Check in our classified ads!