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Pontoon Boat Safety

Many people consider pontoon boats as “party boats.” Mainly because they can usually accommodate 15 or more people. Their design and travel speeds makes the ride normally smooth and comfortable. Pontoon boats are popular on beaches and lakes. The wide deck of pontoon boats makes them perfect for having fun while on the water. Many owners of pontoon boats prefer them because they can serve as a party boat as well as a fishing boat to enjoy with several friends. Their spacious area along with their comfortable seats makes them perfect for exploring lakes, rivers and at the beach.

As with any boat, pontoon craft still demand the respect of their operators to ensure a safe trip.

The basic point into having a pontoon boat is fun and adventure. This makes it important to encourage safety with all your passengers. Taking interest in safety will allow you, your passengers, and other boats around you to be on the safer side.

If you’re renting a pontoon boat, there are many safety precautions that you may need to be aware of and safety equipment that you must have in your boat at all times.

  • Life Jackets or personal floatation devices are a must no matter what type of boat you are using. You need to be certain you have a sufficient number for the capacity of people you can have on your boat.
  • Speaking of capacity, you should always maintain and have in mind is the capacity of you boat. You should never have more people on your boat other than the stated capacity.

When it comes to fun and boating, it is always important to remember that safety is of the utmost priority as any mishap that happens while you are partying would lead to the immediate halt of your fun celebration.

Drifting in a pontoon boat can be an enjoyable experience; but remember as waves build, pontoon boats tend to plow into the wave and this can cause a great deal of water to cross over the deck. Passengers and unsecured gear can be washed overboard if this event is severe.

Pontoon boats by their design do not bank into turns. The centrifugal force that holds a passenger into their seat in most conventional craft is absent, standing passengers can easily fall. Large wakes caused by other boats can practically stop a pontoon boat that approaches them incorrectly. Pontoon boats with their large flat deck, onboard furnishings and bimini tops present a large sail area for the wind to catch. Operators can immediately feel the effects of local wind gusts.

Here are some pontoon handling tips that will be helpful. These are a few things a boater can do to be extra safe with a pontoon boat.

  • Be sure that passengers remain seated once the boat is underway to avoid being thrown overboard during a turn or an encounter with a wave.
  • If rough weather is unavoidable, trim weight aft on the boat and slow down.
  •  Avoid sharply turning the wheel or making rapid changes in power settings.
  •  Monitor local marine forecasts and take time to learn about unique local wind and wave conditions that could occur in the area.
  • Learn to read the water conditions. The secret to successful pontoon boating is to let the natural flow of the water or the wind do the work.
  • Tying down a loose line between the front and rear pontoon rings can be helpful. It can be used to tie down when docking the boat or otherwise can be grabbed easily if needed in an emergency.
  • Anchors should always be used when the boat is beached. Anchors can be used anywhere. Always deploy the anchor when the boat is facing into the wind; if the boat is angled, a pontoon can dig in. Be careful when anchoring close to the channel. Please do not anchor in the channel.