It’s important to inventory and inspect all gear during the boating off-season, so the holidays are a great time to help others prepare. Use these gift ideas to help purchase the right equipment to keep every boater in your life safe and efficient on the water.
- Life Jackets – The gift of a life jacket for any boater is priceless. The most important decision any boater can make is wearing a life jacket. It’s simple, yet lifesaving. When selecting a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, find one that’s comfortable and fits properly. When shopping for children, be mindful of the weight ratings of each life jacket. To learn more on selecting the right life jacket, click here.
- Boating Safety Equipment – Regardless of the boating activity, there’s must-have gear that should always be on board. Items like flares, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, sunscreen, sound producing devices, type IV throwables, dock lines, and much more can be great gifts for any boater.
- PLBs or EPIRBs – Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are location devices that help aide the U.S. Coast Guard in your rescue should an emergency arise. These types of beacons are great gifts for anyone frequenting the water, especially those boaters navigating large waterbodies, offshore, or areas of limited phone service. Having multiple means of communication onboard your vessel is always recommended. A PLB or EPIRB is a must-have and added layer of
protection for any boater.
- Cold Weather Apparel – With low air and water temperatures, it’s important to dress for the adventure. Make sure to pack spare clothes and dress for the water temperature before you head to the water. Good base layers, rain gear, socks, or any other types of essential boating apparel are great gifts to help boaters make their time on the water during the colder months much more enjoyable. Always pack spare dry changes of clothes when recreating on the water, especially when the water temperatures are cold.
- Boating Cleaning and Maintenance Kits – As always, maintenance matters. Purchasing an oil change kit, boat cleaning products, or a tool set to perform routine maintenance are all practical gifts for a boater looking to stay safe and maximize their time on the water. Taking preventative measures on land or through regularly scheduled maintenance will prevent any unwanted downtime this boating season.
- Gift Cards – Gift cards always make great gifts or additions to your Christmas stockings. Find gift cards that will help purchase services at a local authorized Yamaha Dealer, or necessary maintenance supplies if the boater in your life prefers a DIY approach. Boating and outdoor retailers offer boaters a wide selection of gear needed to keep them recreating on the water all year long.
Prepare for Holiday Boat Outings
If you’re making plans to take a boating adventure during the holiday break, use these vital tips to stay safe when recreating in the cold temps and avoid any risks of hypothermia.
- Always wear a life jacket
- Use an engine cut-off switch
- File a float plan
- Dress for the water temperature
- Bring a change of dry clothes
- Monitor the weather
If someone is showing signs like shivering, slow breathing, weak pulse, confusion, or slow reactions - they may be experiencing the onset of hypothermia. If you suspect the onset of hypothermia, call 911 immediately. When waiting for medical personnel, warm the center of the body and remove any wet clothes. Never apply direct heat, leave the person in a cold environment, or apply heat to the individual’s extremities. If you’re unfamiliar or need a refresher on cold water boating, take some time to review the facts about hypothermia.
Prepare for the Next Season
As you celebrate the holidays with loved ones, and prepare for the New Year, remember to take the necessary safety precautions during the boating off-season to maximize your time on the water in the coming months. Simple steps like using a checklist, inspecting/ replacing gear, servicing your engine, and performing trailer maintenance can help maximize your time on the water. No matter if you’ve winterized your boat, or you’re still able to enjoy time on the water, it’s important to always take safety precautions.
The holidays are full of joy, happiness, and giving. Whether you’re planning an outing on the water with family, or shopping for a practical gift for the boater in your life, it’s important to always be mindful of boating safety practices. Be safe this holiday season, and every season. May your stockings be full of boating essentials! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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