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 Boating, The Next Generation
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Posted - 05/03/2017 :  08:17:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage Send Admin a Private Message
My son, whom many of you have met over the years, turned 16 late last year. Of course now he is driving and is itching to start taking our boat out on his own. While he has been boating his entire life and chauffeurs me around on our fishing trips, he has not had any experience in hauling the boat, backing the trailer or launching. Before his dream becomes a reality we are taking several steps to assure his and his friends safety, when I finally give in to this reality.

First he is currently taking on online boating safety course which he has been working on quite diligently. The next step in the process is that we will be going to a small ramp by our house in the evenings during the week, when it is not busy and he will practice backing the trailer along with loading and unloading the boat. We will repeat this process many times and will practice at all different levels of tide and current.

He will have a checklist on each trip and this will be his process moving forward. Not only will he learn how to launch properly, but he will also learn ramp etiquette and common courtesy (something badly lacking at our landings these days). He will learn not to approach the ramp until he is ready to put the boat into the water and learn what loading areas are for.

These are just a few of many things we will be working on along with safety for himself and anyone on the boat. We all have a responsibility for the safety of our kids and others they may encounter while on the water. We also need to teach them how to do things the right way instead of the wrong ways we see displayed every day at our boat ramps and on the water.

Andy Pickett
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