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BOATING SAFELY AS WE AGE

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Jan 27, 2022

Happy Birthday!!

Even if your birthday doesn't fall this month, we all get older each year.

Face it, we are getting older, and Father time takes its toll on all of us.

That doesn't mean you have to give up your boating experiences.

We Just need to be a little smarter about what you can do and how.

Here's some tips to keep you safe as we age:

  • Always use notes and checklists — for shutting the boat down, for starting her up, for all important procedures aboard, especially for operating infrequently used equipment.
  • Keep a whiteboard and markers nearby, perhaps mounted near the helm station, to jot down numbers, way points, reminders, Coast Guard reports, weather reports.
  • Always bring a mate along to be your ears in hard-to-hear situations, and someone who can operate your boat if need be.
  • Reduce long trips. Leave earlier. Arrive earlier. Don't push it.
  • Add extra handholds so you can grab one for every step you take on a pitching boat.
  • Add safety lines, rails, or higher rails.
  • Add nonskid surfaces.
  • Add an electric windlass, one that can be operated remotely. Not only does that eliminate the heavy lifting associated with anchoring, it also allows you to get the boat stopped and settled before you go forward to cleat off the rode or put on a snubber.
  • Remove obstacles from passageways and decks. Add steps where you have to change levels, like going from the cockpit seat to the cockpit sole. If they might turn into shin busters, use the foldaway type.
  • Keep a good pair of binoculars handy to check buoys and distant landmarks.
  • Invest in high-quality prescription sunglasses with UV protection and non-glare lenses.
  • Wear your life jacket.