You should be aware of any specific local hazards in the area where you will be boating.

You should have charts onboard for all areas where you boat.

If you are boating in an area for the first time, seek assistance from other boaters or marinas with local knowledge that can inform you of additional safety precautions that must be considered.

You should be aware of any and all of the following:

  • Hazardous inlets
  • Shoaling areas or sand bars
  • Whitewater areas
  • Dams (are dangerous both above and below the dam)
  • Locks
  • Bridges (clearance height under the bridge)
  • Abnormal tides or currents

Make sure you check with state and/or local officials for requirements and specific conditions that may apply to a body of water on which you intend to boat. For example, some lakes prohibit any motorized vessels, while others might prohibit personal watercraft or have specific hours of operation.