by Boat Ed, A Division of Kalkomey Enterprises, LLC
We discovered this official boating handbook on-line and we wanted to share it with you. The handbook introduces you to Maine laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation.
The complete PDF version can be found on our Website under “Articles and Guides”. Use this handbook to familiarize yourself with steps to make all your boating outings safe and enjoyable. Remember, safety on Maine waterways is the responsibility of all boaters.
Quick reference points noted in the handbook.
Before heading out on the water, take steps to ensure the trip will be safe and enjoyable for everyone on board. Report the following information with family, a friend or the marina; watercraft length, watercraft capacity, and a float plan. Here is a good pre-departure checklist:
- Check the weather forecast for the duration and location you plan to be.
- Make sure steering and throttle are in working order. If boating at night, check to see if all lights are working.
- Check for any fuel leaks. If you may need to refuel while out, fill the tank before night. Use care not to spill any fuel in the water.
- Check engine for any oil leaks and hoses are free of cracks and hose clamps are tight.
- Drain any water in the hull and be sure to replace and secure the bilge plug before placing the boat in the water.
- Check battery charge and the condition of fire extinguishers.
- If your craft has an engine cut-off switch or wrist cut-off feature, make sure it is working properly.
- Make sure you have the proper number of personal floatation devices for guests aboard and if they are in good condition.
- Your float plan left with a reliable friend or relative.
The handbook has so much more information for you to know, other topics include:
- Vessel Basics
- Navigation Rules
- Nighttime Navigation
- Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
- Boating Laws and Regulations
- Required Equipment
- And much more…
“Safe Boating” materials can be found in the kiosks found at the courtesy inspection locations, and are provided by the USCG AUX. The USCG AUX can provide watercraft/paddle craft safe boat inspections free to the public. Go to the MPA Website to find links for more information and to download a PDF of the handbook. It is information that every boater should know.