5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

5 Tips for Boating with Your Kids

With the holiday weekend approaching, it’s one of the best times of the year to go boating with your kids. Though, this is sometimes easier said than done. Save yourself from the stress, and look to these tips to prepare for boating with your kids of all ages!

1. Make safety your No. 1 priority.

Everyone must have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket or personal flotation device, including the tiniest members of your family. The little ones that are under 6 years old must wear their lifejackets at all times when aboard a recreational vessel less than 26 feet long. These are just a few of the Florida regulations for lifejackets. See the full list here to know the various types one must wear if on a Jet Ski or operating the vessel outside of Florida, for example.

2. Pack more than enough supplies for your boat ride.

When bringing the little ones and the youngsters, there are much more supplies to bring than a few bottles of water. Make sure your diaper bag is stocked with extra pacifiers, swim diapers, baby formula, etc. Of course you’ll want to have plenty of sunscreen, snacks, water, juice and ice pops to keep everyone refreshed and hydrated! An extra change of clothes and plenty of towels are also notables items to bring.

3. Inform everyone of the basic boat rules.

Just like there are house rules, there are also basic boat rules that your children should keep in mind when riding on the boat. Here are a few basic boat rules:

  • Hands and feet should be kept in the boat at all times.
  • The lifejacket must be worn at all times.
  • No running on the boat is permitted since it is often slippery, and there are several places where one could be injured.

4. Create shade.

Bimini tops and covers are great for creating a shaded area when boating with your kids. This helps to shelter them from the heat to prevent them from becoming overheated. In addition, you could bring a beach umbrella or sun hat to add extra coverage.

5. Make it fun!

Boating with your kids is a memorable experience for all ages, especially when there are fun water activities. You may decide to bring your fishing poles and bait, snorkeling gear, water tubes or play a fun round of ‘who can find the most fish!’ If you decide to anchor, plan to bring some floats and beach toys as well!

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Attention Boaters: Watch Out for Florida Manatees!

Attention Boaters: Watch Out for Florida Manatees!

attention-boaters-watch-out-for-florida-manatees-riviera-dunes-marina

Attention Boaters: Watch Out for Florida Manatees!

November is Manatee Awareness Month as Florida manatees begin to migrate to our waters to leave the cooler, winter waters. This week, many manatee protection zones went into effect as they travel south.

Manatee numbers are currently flourishing, but this means it’s even more important to look out for them. It’s been reported that there have been 91 manatee fatalities caused from boats this year.

In order to survive the winter weather, Florida manatees migrate to our rivers, bays and coastal waters. This is why it is especially important for boaters to keep a watchful eye out for these aquatic mammals when out on the waters this month.

Though large in size, adult manatees can actually be difficult to spot. To spot them easier, you can wear polarized sunglasses and look out for traces of their presence, such as “footprints” they leave on the water’s surface.

When in manatee protection zones, follow the speed rules in these areas that are known to have more manatees. Boaters can also drive slower, in general, and try to stay in deeper waters to avoid these friendly creatures. Areas such as sea grass beds and other shallow areas will want to be avoided as manatees are known to dwell here as well as lagoons and estuaries.

It’s also important to be mindful to not leave any lines, hooks or any other debris behind in the waters. These could entangle or be ingested by manatees and other wildlife should they encounter these hazardous items.

You can view the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) seasonal rules for manatee migration season as well as the areas designated as manatee protection zones at MyFWC.com/Manatee.

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