Some Safety Tips For Your Boat Docks
A Boat dock is a central point for a lakefront or riverside dwelling. It’s often used not just to dock boats or watercraft but as a gathering point for families looking for some outdoor leisure time. Nevertheless, the safety of the docks of boats must be of top concern to anyone wishing to use them. As a boat owner, you should be considering safety tips for your boat docks.
Boat accidents do happen. However, sometimes Docking is necessary for some instances. Living on a lake has become a non-stop adventure. Unlike other outdoor activities, there are important safety tips to follow to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience. Enjoy some good activities around the dock but follow these tips on keeping supervised.
Types of Injuries And Accidents That Can Occur
Boat accidents happen often enough. Accordingly, about 100 accidents occur on 200,000 boats annually. But when a boater thinks about injuries, it is usually thought that it’s the boat’s owner who is hurting in a boat accident but such accidents can cause collateral damage as well. Although most of these injuries aren’t serious, most importantly they remind you of boat safety. These things are true when you are in the boat dock. Many accidents involve boats close to docks, including crashes and overboard injuries. This is a common cause of death in the boat.
Are You Covered By Insurance?
Can someone get insurance on boats? What about the accidents? Consult with the insurer for any non-insurance coverage. Your dock could be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy if it is located on your property. Specific details of a dock insurance policy may vary largely depending on the provider, but many policies cover freezes, flooding, wind, and many other conditions. Make this annual routine to ensure your structures comply with the local dock code and regulations.
Be Extremely Cautious About Electricity
Electricity and water cannot be mixed at all. Every property owner must make sure their docking area has a safe electrical connection every year. These measures are effective at stopping severe injuries. Generally, ensure all electrical receptacles have ground fault circuit interrupters. A GFCI is a circuit breaker and can shut down electrical energy rapidly when wiring fails. You also need to get GFCI checked frequently. Next, dockers need bonding jumpers. This item is connected to any metal component of any vessel structure.
Cleaning the Dock Often
The most common thing to do when you have a dock at the marina is regularly clearing out any accumulated debris. Keep all the docks clean. It can help eliminate tripping hazards as well as make a dock appear more attractive to guests.
Keep Safety Equipment on Board
Nobody wants an emergency unless it happens. So preparation for emergencies can help keep your family members safe from a disaster. Similar to your boat, it’s important to always carry life vests and emergency supplies when in the water. Some companies even offer storage options to keep them in their docks. You’ll never need this equipment. But it is better to still keep them just for a rainy day.
Emergency Preparations Every Dock Owner Should Make
Training is essential for planning for an emergency. If you are a boat owner who often uses the dock for parking the boat, then you need to consider these preparations in the case of an emergency:
Ensure Proper Installation and Maintenance of Electrical Equipment
Electrical installation should be performed by an electrician experienced in marine codes and standards and checked annually for accuracy. A proper electrical system plan is essential for an ESD to drown. Electric shock drowning has become an acronym for electrocution or drowning which occurs after becoming trapped by water electric shock. The Energy Education Commission recommended that the public be cautious about dangerous shocks.
Keeping your dock grounded will activate the GFCI if there’s ever an electrical charge on the dock. Finally, a licensed and experienced professional should always be hired to handle these installations. These aren’t really DIY projects, as electricity can be incredibly dangerous.
Be Prepared in Case of A Fire
Marina fires can be very dangerous and the need for emergency preparedness is critical. The biggest way to prevent a fire is by training and teaching boaters to recognize the hazards in their marinas. Learn to operate an emergency fire extinguisher. Proper operation of an extinguishment can stop small flames from their potential to spread.
Learn How To Dock a Boat Properly
Very few things can get your heart pumping as quickly as an awkward dock position. On good days docking the boat can be fairly simple. Experienced boaters know that the boat can turn sideways when docking. Learn about proper docking techniques. Any and everything can go wrong if your boat is docked in the wrong way.
New boat owners who just got a boat are not professional in parking their boats along the docks. Whenever a dock is approached, you should slow down your speed as much as possible so that when you finally reach the dock you don’t ram into the structure and damage your boat. Most accidents on the boats occur while docking. Professional boaters develop muscle memory of their boat’s acceleration and braking and can measure exactly when to stop. If you are an amateur boat captain, then you need to be careful about such things.
Have The Safety Equipment Readily Available
Store life vests, first aid tools, flares, and other safety gear within a fiberglass dock box and test the equipment before use. A horn and fire extinguishers, a GPS, a tow line, an alarm light, and a radio can be used for emergency purposes.
Commonly Questions Asked About Boat Docks
The safety standards of a boat dock are as much important as a boat’s safety standards. Just like your boats, the docks also need to have all the essential safety equipment readily available. No risks should be taken when it comes to the safety of yourself and others.
Do I Need to Have Insurance For My Boat Dock?
You may have boat insurance, but what if an incident happens on your dock and not on your boat? Check your insurance policy or with your agent to see what is and what is not covered by your plan. In some cases, your dock may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy if the dock is located on the property that you own.
What is The Right Way To Dock Your Boat?
Know how to dock safely. Docking is not always at the top of the list of many boaters’ favorite tasks. It takes practice and can sometimes be a pretty humbling experience thanks to variables like wind, boat size, and close proximity to other boats and structures. Always approach the dock slowly before arriving sideways and connecting lines to cleats. In the case when landing is harder than expected, suspend fenders at contact points. Warn your passengers to keep arms and legs inside the boat and away from pinch points between the boat and the dock. Never allow a passenger to jump ship until the docking maneuver is complete and the boat is secure. The force of leaping off the boat can misdirect its motion, causing an accident, or can make the boat move away from the dock, lengthening the distance and leaving the offending passenger in the water.
How Should I Maintain My Dock?
Dock maintenance is a very important practice that every dock owner needs to follow. It offers the fulfillment of safety standards, as well as helps in enhancing the appearance of your dock. You can start by keeping your dock clean at all times making sure there is no residue or dirt. Deposits like dirt, mold, and mildew are a cause of tripping hazards. No one wants their friends and families to slip and fall from the dock when approaching the boat.
To conclude, we can say that docking and boating safety both are crucial. As a dock owner, you need to be extremely careful about everything involved with boating. Safety equipment like life jackets, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers should not only be stored in the boat but should also be available on the dock. What if your boat catches fire next to the dock because of a short-circuiting? It wouldn’t be easy for you to enter your boat to get a fire extinguisher right? Instead, you need to have all such precautionary instruments present on the dock as well.
FootHills Dock & Lift Repair offers a variety of boat and boat lift maintenance services. With the winter season approaching, you can rely on our services as we can effectively help you winterize your boat. We guarantee that your boat will retain its original condition after the season ends. We also provide lift removal, dock resurfacing, boat and dock maintenance, dock cleaning, and others. Contact us today and book an appointment!