Welcome to the third and final installment of our series of blogs on purchasing a boat in our lovely state of California! This week is all about safe boating and other information relevant to your new yachting experience. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
The first, most obvious requirement for safe boating is having enough life jackets aboard. A child age 13 and under must wear a life jacket when not inside the cabin, and there must be a life jacket for every soul on the vessel. In addition, vessels longer than 16 feet must carry a throwable flotation device such as a life ring or floating cushion.
Next, you should read up on California boating laws. A good guide is “ABCs of California Boating,” which is available for free in PDF form on the California Division of Boating and Waterways website. Another good resource to check out there is PDF of Clean Boating Practices, which details the principles of keeping our waterways and oceans clean.
Lastly, you could get your captain’s license, which isn’t necessary to operate a boat for personal use, but is necessary for other nautical ventures, including captaining charters. The license is obtained through the US Coast Guard; they make it easy to decide which category of captain’s license to study and test for, and provide study material packages on their website. A captain’s license affords you valuable boating knowledge, as well as the option to go further in your seagoing activities than just pleasure cruises or fishing.
We hope this series on choosing, purchasing, and using a yacht in California has been helpful! Always remember to have fun on the water, and above all follow safe boating practices.