Making the Most of 4th of July on Your Boat

By June 28, 2021July 1st, 2021Captain's Tips
Snag-A-Slip Blog - Boating Safety Tips for 4th of July - Boat Safe
The 4th of July is more fun on a boat than anywhere else on earth! It’s a proven fact. That’s why the crew at Snag-A-Slip wants to share a few tips to help you make the most of 4th of July on your boat.

Make 4th of July Fun

To start, don’t be afraid to flaunt your patriotic spirit. Get out the red, white, and blue decorations and let them work their magic – bow to stern. The trend is to keep decorating until your beloved boat is almost unrecognizable. That’s when you know you’ve done a good job. Of course, you don’t want all your hard work to go appreciated. You’ll want to get all the details for your local 4th of July boat parade. Most towns fortunate enough to be on the water have one. Get into formation and cruise with all the fanfare you can muster. 

The 4th of July really comes alive at night, when fireworks display light up the skies. Find yourself a sweet spot to anchor, where you can ooh and ahh from the comfort of your deck. The trick is to find your spot early before things get crowded. Arrive in the late afternoon and enjoy dinner as the sun goes down. Not a bag gig!

Kick the usual boat picnic fare up a notch!

Ready to add some red, white, and blue flair to your usual boat picnic? It’s easier than you might think. You simply need a little inspiration. From a Red, White, and Blue Caprese Salad to a Deviled Egg American flag, check out the FOOD Network’s Favorite 4th of July Recipes.

Grove to Snag-A-Slip’s Patriotic Playlist.

Let our custom Spotify playlist be the soundtrack for your 4th of July. Whether you’re rockin’ out or sittin’ back, these are the songs you want to listen to when you’re feeling patriotic.  

Keep 4th of July Safe

We don’t want to take the wind out of your sails, but the fact is that the 4th of July is the busiest, and arguably the most dangerous holiday of the boating season. That’s why the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary urges all boaters to use extra caution. For that matter, the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, normally account for more than one-third of all boating-related accidents and fatalities. But, staying safe and enjoying your holiday is easy if you follow these few tips:

Always wear your life jacket.

We know the 4th of July can be hot and steamy. Even so, don’t be tempted to lose the life jacket. Accidents don’t give you warning. There is usually no time to find and put on a life jacket once an accident has occurred. The numbers don’t lie. Statistics show 80% of those who perished in boating accidents were not wearing life jackets.

Operating a boat and alcohol don’t mix.

Being the captain comes with the responsibility for the safety of all on board, as well as surrounding boats. Wear that title proudly. It’s no different than being the designated driver on land. Additionally, keep alcohol consumption for your passengers to a responsible level. Along with decreasing your ability to make good judgments, alcohol can negatively affect passengers’ ability to respond in an emergency on the water.

Snag-A-Slip Blog - Boating Safety Tips for 4th of July - Drinking and Driving

Make sure your boat has all the necessary equipment and it’s functioning properly.

For some, the 4th of July is the first time they venture out on the water after dark. That’s why it’s so important to check that your navigation lights work – so you can be seen. Even better, request a free Vessel Safety Check from the Coast Guard. That way you’ll know your boat meets all federal and state requirements.

Share your float plan with a friend

If you’re not familiar, a float plan for a boater is comparable to a flight plan for a pilot. Your plan lists where you’re going, who’s going, a description of your boat, and when you expect to be back. You’ll also need to tell your friend just what you want them to do in the event they don’t hear from you within a reasonable time of when you’re expected back. The Coast Guard offers a free fillable float plan form with instructions. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Be extremely aware of your surroundings.

The Coast Guard asks all boaters to keep a lookout for other boaters, weather, or anything unusual. Basically, if you see something say something. They ask that you diligently watch the weather, celebrate responsibly, and understand the hazards of boating under the influence of alcohol. They also warn against the misuse of emergency flares as fireworks. Hard as it may be to believe, some boaters light their boat’s emergency flares on the 4th of July. If you should see something to report, reach out to local authorities by calling 911 or VHF-FM Channel 16.

Exercise the 3 C’s.

We’re referring to Caution, Courtesy & Common Sense. Especially during busy boating times, we need to be even more cautious than we usually are. For instance, in close-quarter maneuvering situations with other boats – the slower the speed the better. And always be courteous to your fellow boaters. Boaters are the best people on earth, and we want everyone to know it. Lastly, let common sense be your guide.

These simple but important tips could save your life, the lives of your passengers, fellow boaters, or swimmers.  And rest assured that they’ll make the 4th of July on your boat less stressful and way more fun!

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Jo Montgomery

Author Jo Montgomery

Jo is a lifelong boat lover and writer. She learned the ropes of boating on her family’s 36’ Carver at the Jersey (joy-see) shore. With over 30 years of writing under her belt, she delights in seeking out, and sharing, the things most important to fellow boating enthusiasts. Jo now lives in Connecticut, near the water she adores, with her husband, two children and large, hairy dog. She is over the moon to be part of the Snag-A-Slip crew!

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