Is Your Ministry Using a Boat This Summer?

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Canoeing, kayaking, river rafting, or heading out on a lake in a motorboat are popular summer activities for students. Good planning and a high regard for safety will help make the experience everything your youth ministry intends it to be. If your ministry is using someone’s boat, follow these rules. 

  • Make sure the boat and trailer is insured.
  • Inspect your boat before heading out.  Check for hull damage and loose fittings.  If the boat has a plug, make sure it fits.
  • Check the battery.  If it has been a few years since the battery was replaced, it may be time.
  • Check all lights and the horn.  You may have wiring that needs to be repaired for proper night use. Electrical fittings can be protected with a water-repellant, non-conductive grease or corrosion inhibitor.
  • Test all life jackets to make sure they are in good working order.
  • Take care of the engine.  Also, check your oil for correct levels, proper filtration, and cleanliness.
  • Check the tires on the trailer.
  • Make sure the bilge pump is properly working. Check all fittings and test the pump before use.
  • Do some research about boating laws and regulations. You might even consider taking a boating safety course. And never drink and drive a boat.

If your group is planning to go tubing or skiing, be sure to obey all rules regarding speed, and avoid making sharp turns. Ensure all equipment is secure and in good condition, and that all participants wear a life jacket. In addition to the driver, there should be another adult who acts as a “spotter” to keep watch over the tuber or skier at all times.

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