As the holidays draw near, the U.S. Coast Guard and its Auxiliary civilian volunteers would like to offer some gift ideas for boaters to help them stay safe all year long.
One of the best gifts for boaters is to sign them up for a boating safety course. Knowledge is power, and it has been statistically shown that boaters who have taken a safety class are far less likely to be involved in a boating mishap or fatality. Course topics include basic boat handling, required and recommended safety equipment, navigational rules and dealing with boating emergencies. Learn more about the boating safety course.
Another gift for boaters doesn’t cost anything but time, such as scheduling a free vessel safety check (VSC) with the local Coast Guard Auxiliary. An Auxiliarist will examine your vessel and ensure its compliance with Federal, state and local safety requirements before getting underway. Learn more about the vessel safety check.
Ten other great gift ideas to help keep boaters safe include:
- Sleek, light-weight, and comfortable inflatable life jackets.
- A carbon monoxide detector.
- Emergency signaling kits — flares, signal mirror or whistle.
- Kill switch leash — kills the engine if the boater falls overboard.
- Up-to-date navigational charts and/or a hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) unit.
- Navigation tools and calculators.
- Hand-held Very High Frequency or VHF marine radio with extra batteries.
- Personal emergency position indicating radio beacons (PEPIRBs).
- Tool kit and spare parts for boats.
- First-Aid kit, sun screen and sunglasses.
The price range for these items runs from under ten dollars up to several hundred dollars, but giving the gift of safety to a friend or loved one is priceless.