1. Make sure you have a properly fitting, US Coast Guard -approved life jacket for everyone on board. All children 12 and younger must wear a life jacket with the boat is in motion.
2. Start out slow and scout the area from the water and from land. This time spent will pay dividends in fun!
3. Reduce speed when approaching and moving away from docks or other floating structures. Remember, Oregon’s “proximity rules” state: “Operators of boats must observe slow -no wake within 200′ of a boat ramp, marina or moorage, a floating home moorage or structures, or people working at water level. The operator may be liable for damage caused by wake.” Slow -No Wake is defined as “operating a boat at the slowest speed necessary to maintain steerage and that reduces or eliminates waves that appear as white water behind the boat.”
4. When purchasing a new or used boat, ask if it comes with an ignition cut-off switch and lanyard. This device will kill the engine if the operator is thrown from the seat.
5. Make sure you have a marine B-1 fire extinguisher, a sound producing device, and your lighting works. All boats are required to carry specific equipment based on the boat size.
For more information on rules, regulations and required equipment, visit www.boatoregon.com.