From the nation’s largest association of recreational boat owners, BoatU.S., here are ten New Year’s resolutions that can help you be a better boater in 2008:
1. Take a boating safety course. The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water has a free on online course that can be taken in the comfort of your own home at http://www.BoatUS.org/onlinecourseIf classroom instruction is more your style, find out what courses are being offered near you at http://www.BoatUS.org/courseline
2. If you trailer your boat, know your state’s trailering laws and learn what you need to do to stay safe on the highway by going to http://www.BoatUS.com/trailerlaws
3. Lend a hand to your fellow boater by sharing your knowledge and participating in the discussions taking place on the online message boards at http://my.BoatUS.com/forumOr, try the boat groups at http://www.BoatUS.com/boatgroups
4. If you live in the hurricane belt, make a hurricane plan for your boat and your club by visiting http://www.BoatUS.com/hurricanesYou’ll find a free, downloadable hurricane preparation worksheet, guide and sample marina and club hurricane plans.
5. Brush up on the waterway rules of the road by viewing animated depictions of boats avoiding collisions, safely passing each other, and operating in narrow channels at the BoatU.S. Foundation’s free online “Toolbox” at http://www.BoatUS.com/foundation/toolbox
6. If you are a female boater or angler, consider attending a women-only boating, sailing or fishing seminar in 2008. Go to http://www.BoatUS.com/womenfor more information.
7. Learn the key legal differences between on-the-water towing services and salvage operations by visiting http://www.BoatUS.com/salvageIt could save you a lot of aggravation and money.
8. Register your Digital Selective Calling (DSC) VHF radio and take a free online tutorial at http://www.BoatUS.com/mmsiThis could greatly help potential rescuers pinpoint your location.
9. Get informed about how you can help stop the spread of invasive species by going to http://www.BoatUS.com/InvasiveSpecies
10. Make sure you sign up for the free BoatU.S. National Recall Alert Registry at http://www.BoatAmerica.org/recallThis gives boat builders a way to contact you in case a safety defect is discovered that affects your boat.