An integral piece of boating safety involves staying safe around the marina, a place where many boaters spend large amounts of time, or even live. Below are some marina safety tips to help novice and experienced boaters alike stay safe around their marinas.

Top 5 Marina Safety Tips for Boaters:

1. Be Safe on the Dock

Always wear non-slip shoes around the marina, particularly on the docks and on your boat. Keep docks clear of loose items that could cause a fire or trip hazard. Also make sure you know where the nearest marina safety equipment is located (i.e. fire extinguishers, life rings, ladders, etc.).

2. Don’t Swim in Marina Waters

This is a critical part of marina safety, as docks and boats often carry sources of electricity. Bad wiring or damaged electrical cords can cause the surrounding water to become energized. Have your boat inspected regularly by a licensed electrician and make sure you are familiar with the electrical system so you can identify and correct hazards.

3. Wear Your PFD (Personal Flotation Device)

For the sake of marina safety, we suggest having young children and small dogs in PFDs at all times, just in case.

It’s recommended that everyone wear a properly-fitting PFD  while underway. It is especially important to wear a PFD during the following conditions:

  • Boating at night or when visibility is reduced
  • In congested waterways
  • When you’re out boating by yourself
  • During rougher weather conditions or in hazardous waters

In Florida, children under 6 years old must wear properly fitting PFDs while underway. Find the PFD laws in your state.

4. Be Aware of Fire Hazards

The best ways to prevent a fire on your boat are to:

  1. Be proactive about regular maintenance of your vessel, especially electrical and fuel systems.
  2. Follow the Coast Guard’s guidelines for safely fueling your vessel. Note: if you see or cause a fuel spill, notify marina staff immediately.

Below is a list from Seaworthy Magazine that lists causes of fires started aboard a vessel:

  • AC and DC wiring/appliance – 55%
  • Engine/Transmission Overheat – 24%
  • Fuel Leaks – 8%
  • Miscellaneous – 7%
  • Unknown – 5%
  • Stove – 1%

5. Stay Weather-Wise

Avoid moving about the docks and marina grounds while there is lightning activity in the area. This is especially important in Florida, the lightning capitol of the country. To help prevent a boat fire or electrocution, wet slip customers and live-aboard boaters should make sure their vessels are equipped with a lightning protection system.

Always use caution on the docks during windy or stormy weather.

Harbortown Marina, now a full-service marina, is located in Merritt Island, Florida, just 2.5 miles west of Port Canaveral. To generate an estimate of your boat’s storage/stay at Harbortown Marina, use our Price Calculator, or check out our Current Specials page for current offers.