One of the favored holiday boating weekends of the year, the Labor Day celebration is nearly upon us. As with any holiday boating, make sure your Labor Day weekend celebration prioritizes boating safety as highly as having a blast with friends and family.
We’ve identified the top 5 boating safety tips based on recommendations from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to make the most of your Labor Day weekend.
1. Check the Weather
Check the forecast several days in advance and keep an eye on it throughout your boating day. Tennessee has seen several swiftly moving storms this year, so reviewing the possibility for high winds or lightning can prevent getting stuck in a dangerous situation. We recommend looking at weather radar resources like those located here on the day of your event. A good boating safety plan can only keep you safe if the weather conditions on Labor Day weekend are good enough to get out on the water!
2. Prepare a Float Plan
You might think your float plan includes all the best spots to hang out in your inner tube on the lake, but it is actually a great deal more important than that! The National Safe Boating Council recommends making a float plan each time you go boating and includes critical information about your passengers and vessel for the authorities in the event of an emergency on the water.
A float plan should be left with someone on shore or should be easily located digitally in a place such as email. Your float plan for boating this Labor Day weekend should include:
- Trip itinerary
- Operator and passenger information
- Boat type and registration
- Communication equipment on board
3. Travel at a Safe Speed
Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year for boating, and with so many vessels on the water, speedy operators can be incredibly problematic for safety. Be aware of passengers swimming, larger wakes from volume of traffic, and a density of drivers with potentially less experience. Boats don’t have brakes so you should be ready to slow down at any moment!
TWRA recommends that you familiarize yourself with the local boating speed zones and wake zones and travel at a safe speed throughout the weekend. Additional boating regulations and waterway navigation tips can be found here.
4. Don’t Drink and Drive
While alcohol is allowed on boats, your driver shouldn’t be one of the people indulging! It is illegal for the captain to be under the influence of any mind-altering substances. BUIs are involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities, so it’s important to select a designated driver to keep your party safe while on the water.
5. Safety Equipment
Safety equipment is essential for boating safety, starting with a life jacket for each person that fits properly. We also recommend a flag signifier, typically a bright color such as orange, that you fly whenever your boat is stopped and passengers are in the water – it lets everyone around know to give your boat space.
Of course, if you’re a member of the Nautical Boat Club, you can relax knowing all the safety equipment is provided by the club for every outing.
Nautical Boat Club
Nautical Boat Club is the nation’s first and only Boating Country Club® – offering unlimited access to a fleet of premium boats and exclusive membership features. Nautical Boat Club Nashville is one of the oldest and largest boat clubs in the entire country, with convenient locations for boat use at Percy Priest, Old Hickory, Center Hill, and Tims Ford Lakes.
For a truly unique experience that saves you money and makes for a more enjoyable boating experience, check out Nautical Boat Club’s great membership program. Get your membership started online today!