Kayaking & Canoeing for Beginners : Knowing Boat Etiquette & Safety for Canoeing

We want to talk about boat etiquette and boat
safety. Basically a couple things to think about when you go kayaking. You always are
required to at least have one life jacket per person in each boat. Now having a life
jacket or the PFD in the boat doesn’t do you a lot of good if you’ve flipped the boat and
you’re swimming. So it makes more sense to wear the life jacket, make sure it’s nice
and snug, and it fits okay. And again, you test that by lifting up, if the life jacket
doesn’t rise up, you’ve got it properly fitted for your body. Now the next thing we want
to talk about is basic boat etiquette. Out on the lake there are powerboats, rowing shells,
many different types of watercraft. Now I’m in a ten-foot kayak, which is very easy for
me to turn and get out of my own way, and get out of other’s way. The rule of thumb
on the lake is basically that the smaller the boat must yield the right of way, and
it doesn’t matter who came first, who’s going where, it’s always the smaller boat yields
the right of way. Because basically if I’m in a ten foot kayak and there’s a thirty foot
power boat coming at me, there’s a good chance the power boat can’t see me, or that they
can’t move in time if they do see me, so I want to watch out for my safety and stay out
of their way. Like I said, rule of thumb, you’re in the smallest boat, it’s your job
to stay out of their way. Think about it like being on the highway in a Volkswagen and having
a semi comes up behind you. Whose problem is it? It’s yours, you want to be careful
and you want to watch out for your own safety.

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