Since this weekend is Memorial Day and May is National Safe Boating Week (May 17-23, 2014) it felt appropriate to offer some helpful tips for a safe weekend!

After researching boat safety, I had NO IDEA there were so many types of life jackets! Did you know the type of life jacket you should purchase is determined by the length of a boat and the type of boating you’re doing? West Marine has the best selection and Chuck Holly, from West Marine, breaks it down with a very informative video for choosing the right life jacket; from day sailing to canoeing. This video is a must much watch, they even have life jackets for your furry friends!

If you have all of your life jackets, but just need to check a few items on your boat; West Marine has prepared a Safe Boating Checklist. Print it and double check it.

One thing we don’t always think about is carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s scary because it’s colorless and odorless. Symptoms can be very similar to sea sickness such as headache, dizziness or nausea. Here’s a few simple prevention measures. Never block outlets, it can cause CO to build up. Swim and play away from areas where engines vent their exhaust. Educate your passengers about signs and symptoms of CO poisoning. Purchase and install a detector.

Don’t forget the basics! Wear sunscreen, stop to rehydrate, and keep a first aid kit close at hand. Have FUN and enjoy the 2014 Boating Season!

Written by Julia Pinski