9 Safety Tips for Tow Sports
Before you start your engine or throw out the rope, take a look at these guidelines.
Whether your boat pulls someone on water skis, a wakeboard, or a tube, keep it fun with these safety precautions.
- Review the rules. Familiarize yourself with your state’s boating laws. Be sure you have a current operator’s license with you.
- Check your equipment. Check tow ropes for fraying, issues with connecting hooks, and their overall condition. Look for potential problems around your boat’s engine, propeller, and hull.
- Dress up. Make sure everyone who goes into the water wears Coast Guard-approved life jackets. It’s a good idea for those in the boat too—and it may be the law in your state.
- Discuss hand signals. Go over common hand signals the person in tow can use to communicate with the boat, such as “thumbs down” for slow down, or patting your head to get back in the boat.
- Appoint a spotter. Have someone in the boat other than the driver keep an eye on the person being towed to make sure he or she is safe during the run.
- Watch the water. When towing someone, keep the boat away from docks, beaches, and shallow water. Steer clear of other watercraft, and avoid dragging your tow-person over wakes.
- Know your limits. Don’t tempt fate by adding “just one more” person to the tube; making sudden, sharp turns; or allowing skiers to take risks.
- Cut the engine. Turn off your boat’s engine whenever someone gets into or out of the water. You eliminate the risk of a propeller injury and reduce dangerous carbon monoxide emissions.
- Forget the libations. Boating and alcohol can be a deadly combination, whether you’re in the water or piloting the boat.
Before you take your boat and your passengers out, be sure you’re adequately insured. Contact your MetLife Auto & Home® representative to learn more about what you need.