Boating is one of the all time summer activities. Nothing says Summer like taking the boat out on the lake for the day. You can also catch up on some fishing while your out there or even throw a party, depending on your boats size. If none of that excites you, you might just enjoy getting a tan while floating in an inner tube. Perhaps reading your favorite magazine or enjoying a cold beer or margarita with your friends.

Before you head out on the lake with your friends and family, there are a few things you must take care of. First and foremost, you need to acquire a boat, legally. There are boat dealerships, just like cars, in nearly every state and city. Or you can ask a friend with a boat if they’d like to take it out on the lake. Secondly, much like a car, if you are going to be driving the boat, you will need a boating license. You can obtain one of these by contacting your states department of natural resources and setting up an application to take your boating exam. Once all of this is completed and you receive your license, you should inspect your boat to make sure it operates properly. Check the engine, lights, battery and fuel. Once you’ve completed these steps; it’s time to pack your supplies up and head out to the lake.

One of the most important things to do while on a boat is be safe. Many people can be injured or even killed if safety measures are not followed. When boating, everyone on board should be wearing or at least have a life jacket within reach, preferably on them. This is to prevent drowning in case someone gets tossed overboard or slips and possibly gets knock unconscious. Life jackets also help young children become better swimmers. Keep a close eye on any child or even adult that does not know how to swim. Also, make sure at least one person on the boat knows CPR, in case of possible drowning incidents.

One of the biggest hazards of this recreational activity is not being thrown overboard, but instead, it is operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It’s ok to have a party or get-together on the boat and have a few drinks, but it is never ok to be drinking while operating any type of heavy machinery. Getting a DUI while driving a car is the same as with a boat. Also, do not plan on drinking underage while your on a boat. They actually do have police boats that patrol the lakes looking for teens who are doing just that.

Ultimately, try to have fun, yet be safe while doing so. Make sure, like every outdoor activity, that you check the weather reports before heading out. Nothing can ruin a day on the lake with your boat more than bad weather. Overall, boating is a fun Summer activity you can share with your friends and family.