You want to go out on the water with your family, and you think one of the best options is to rent a pontoon. After all, a pontoon doesn’t go particularly fast, has room for everyone and is pretty easy to drive. You’re familiar with taking them out on the calm waters of your local lakes, but going out onto the ocean is a little bit different.
The fact that pontoons are so easy to rent is part of the problem. Many novice boaters end up on pontoons, because they are simpler to drive and learn to control. This could pose a threat of a collision, though, as novice drivers may make mistakes that more advanced boaters would not.
If you plan to go out on the water, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.
1. The ocean isn’t as calm as a lake
The first thing to keep in mind is that boating on the open ocean is a lot more intense than boating on a lake. Waves can impact steering, so you’ll always want to know your weather conditions before heading out.
2. A rental isn’t like having your own vessel
Another thing to do before going out is to look over the boat and find out what kinds of safety equipment is on boat. You need to have enough life jackets for yourself and your passengers. There should be seats that detach and float on some pontoons. Additionally, you should ask if there is a weather radio or radio to call in to the marina if you need help.
3. More people can mean more trouble on the water
The last thing to remember is that having more people on board can cause more trouble. While passengers on pontoons are allowed to drink alcohol, it’s better if you avoid doing so (especially if you’re driving). Between the heat and sun and the alcohol, dehydration is more likely, which could end up hurting those on board. Make sure everyone stays hydrated and is seated when your boat is in motion, so you can prevent accidents.
These are a few things to keep in mind if you want to rent a pontoon safely. They can be excellent recreational vessels to borrow for an afternoon, but you should always be safe and get to know the rules before you head out on the water. If you take the time to learn more, you’ll be safer on board.