Boating is a great adventure on any type of boat, and is being enjoyed by many on a daily basis, but with that comes a great responsibility. There are some very good reasons to get yourself informed about the rules of the road.
The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 95 of Marco Island is offering various safe boating courses this fall. Ten reasons to take a course, and some of the things you will learn, include:
- Safety equipment and what you are required to have on your boat before you undertake any boating excursion.
- Driving a boat is vastly different from driving a car. You are dealing with air and water currents. If you have never docked a boat you may think that it is easy, until that is, the current pulls you in the opposite direction that you want to go.
- Knowing how to work with lines and tying knots is part of boating. You have to be able to secure a boat properly. If your boat gets away, it is amazing how quickly the current or tide will take it out of your reach.
- What the channel markers mean. Knowing what the markers and lights mean can keep you from going aground in a shallow channel (a very common issue around Marco Island).
- There are speed limits on certain waterways, but unlike the roads, they may or may not be posted.
- Using charts for coastal navigation can be a life saver. It’s your road map that helps you stay away from the shallows and shows where all the markers and bridges are located.
- Just like on the roads, you sometimes have to give way to the other guy. In a boating course you will learn who does that and why.
- Every boat should have a horn. You may hear one long toot or 2 short toots and so on, and you’ll learn what they mean.
- There are boating regulations and laws that must be followed by all boaters. The State of Florida has specific regulations that differ from federal regulations.
- Anchoring a boat is not just a matter of plopping a big chunk of iron down to the sand. There are special to anchor safely around Marco Island and especially in tight spots of Keewaydin Island
This fall the Auxiliary will be offering the following courses:
October 5 – Boating Skills & Seamanship
November 2 – Boaters Local Knowledge – Marco Island
November 3 – Boaters Local Knowledge – Backwaters
November 4 – GPS for Mariners
November 5 – Suddenly In Command
November 10 – WeekendNavigator
For further information and to register for a U.S. Coast Auxiliary safe boating course, please contact Joe Riccio at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 239-384-7416.