Sign up for a safety course to brush up on boating rules. Register for a free U.S. Coast Guard vessel check to confirm your boat meets all safety requirements. Be sure life jackets are in good condition. Place basic first aid and tool kits in the glove box. Responsible adults should know CPR and be familiar with basic first aid procedures.
Check the fuel level and thoroughly inspect your boat to confirm equipment is in good operating condition before leaving home. Look over the trailer, hitch and hook up, lights, and tires. Tell a trusted friend or family member where you are going and how to get in touch. It is best if everyone onboard wears life jackets. Watch children carefully in and out of the water, and account for all passengers before firing up the engine. Monitor weather throughout the day. Get off the water as soon as possible should a storm approach. Have a mobile phone available in case of emergency.
Operate the boat at a safe speed on the water and avoid alcohol. Boating while intoxicated is against the law and compromises passenger safety.