2015 New York Safe Boating - 35
Good communication with your passengers is critical, and
letting your passengers know your rules, including how to
behave in an emergency, can help prevent some accidents from
occurring. Before you allow your passengers on your boat,
explain what they can do, and what they shouldn't do, during
your cruise. Before you leave the dock, let them know:
* Where safety equipment is located including PFD,
Visual distress signals, fire extinguishers and first aid
kit if carried
* How to wear a PFD
* How to operate a fire extinguisher
* Anchoring and line handling procedures
* How to operate a radio in an emergency situation
* Man overboard and rough weather procedures
Well informed passengers make for a safer voyage and can
be the first line of defense in an emergency.
There is an incredible array of boating options in New York
State, and if you have a boat trailer, you can experience
all of them. New York State has developed over 500
launch sites at many lakes, state parks, canals, and other
waterways. Using a trailer to haul your boat to different
waterways offers opportunities for new adventure and
NEVER ALLOW PASSENGERS TO RIDE ON
THE BOW, SEAT BACKS OR GUNWALES.
PASSENGERS DOING SO RISK FALLING
OVERBOARD AND BEING HIT BY THE
PROPELLER. OPERATORS WHO ALLOW IT
MAY BE CITED FOR RECKLESS OPERATION!
Choosing the Right Trailer
When trailering your boat you must think about how it
will affect the tow vehicle's handling. Towing requires a
new awareness of combined vehicle length, trailer width,
braking distance, and turning characteristics. Maintaining
extended following distances is one of the most important
towing related driving habits. The added weight a trailer
provides means that it takes significantly more distance
to stop, even if your trailer is equipped with brakes. In
New York State trailers of 1,000 pounds or more of gross
weight are required to be equipped with brakes. It is also
important to make lane changes carefully and slowly and
to allow extended distances for passing.
As the operator, you are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of your passengers, and for the safe operation of your
boat. You can uphold your responsibilities by adhering to
this Top Ten List of Operator's Duties:
Know and abide by the rules of the road.
Know how your boat handles. Be aware of your
stopping distance, turning radius, and optimal
Exercise courtesy and common sense.
Be prudent with fuel, always keep 1/3 of your fuel in
While tow vehicle and trailer brakes are sufficient for most
situations, care is needed to avoid overheating. When
traveling down a steep hill shift into a lower gear that is
sufficiently low enough to retard the engine to a speed
that only requires occasional or minimal braking. This
way enough braking performance is reserved to make an
emergency stop. When braking on a grade is required,
apply the brakes intermittently with modest pressure and
release the pedal to allow the brakes to cool.
5. Know your boat's position and course.
6. Know the meaning of all buoys or other navigation
7. Listen to local weather broadcasts and watch for
changing weather conditions.
8. Know the location of the nearest safe harbor-be
prepared to head there if conditions change.
9. Never take unnecessary risks that may endanger life,
limb or property.
At higher rates of speed a trailer may begin to sway back
and forth. If this occurs gradually press the brake pedal
and reduce your speed. Equipping your trailer with a sway
control device can greatly reduce this.
Supervise your passengers! Require them to remain
seated with arms and legs in the boat while it is
in motion. Encourage everyone to wear a PFD,
especially in rough conditions, and be sure that
children and non-swimmers do so.
All trailers require more space for turns. The trailer will
track in a tighter turn than the tow vehicle necessitating
the need to swing wider. Backing up a trailer can be a