Keep Boating Fun in Chicago
As we dive deeper into the Chicago boat season, here are some fun facts and important things to remember from BoatUS and Freedom Boat Club Chicago to keep boating fun:
Hit the dock a little too hard: Wind, waves or current can foul up the best-laid docking plans. Here’s a video, “How to Dock in Four Easy Steps,” that can help improve your technique:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKc7ApaJCzQ . If you need more help, try the Dock-IT online docking game: www.BoatUS.com/dockit .
Misjudge the weather: Some smart phone apps can help track summer weather patterns and keep boaters out of trouble. Check out the online story, “Weather Wonders: How To Know When To Get Off The Lake,” at:www.BoatUS.com/trailering/2013/february/WeatherApps.asp .
Hit bottom: Whether it’s a motorboat prop or a sailboat keel, for many boaters it’s not a question of if you will strike the bottom, but when. The good news is most boat groundings are not serious. Boat owners can practice staying out of thin water by using an online boating simulator atwww.BoatUS.org/games . If the worst still happens, a good back up plan is to have an on the water boat towing plan and a solid boat insurance policy with full salvage coverage.
Go on the wrong side of the marker: Street signs for boaters are much different than those for motorists. Here’s an online “toolbox” with nautical rules of the road, along with many other practical safety topics: www.BoatUS.com/foundation/toolbox .
Swim from a marina dock: Other than the issue of dangerous boating traffic, electric shock drowning as a result of poorly-maintained 110V dock and boat shore power wiring is a threat to swimmers near docks with electrical power: To learn about “ESD,” go to the online story: “ESD Explained: What every boater needs to know about Electric Shock Drowning” atwww.BoatUS.com/seaworthy/magazine/2013/july/electric-shock-drowning-explained.asp
Put a child in a wrong-size life jacket: It’s a big mistake to put a child in an adult-sized life jacket, especially when you may be able borrow one for free at one of 570 locations across the country. Find a kids jacket loaner site near you with the BoatUS Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner program:www.BoatUS.org/life-jacket-loaner.
Fall overboard: Do you have a way to get back in the boat? Here’s a look of the different types of boat ladders and some video showing how difficult it can be to get back aboard – even on small boats: www.BoatUS.org/findings/44/ .
Freedom Boat Club wants everyone to enjoy all of summer.