North America

The best safe boating practices

Boating provides the ability to make lifetime memories and share them with family and friends, but with boating also comes great responsibility. The safety of those onboard your vessel depends on the precautions taken when planning an outing, everything from operating a boat, maintenance, planning an excursion and more.

Safe Boating blog

Safety is a core value of ours at Volvo Penta, one that we take seriously – everything from suggested maintenance, user friendliness for operation, and how we engineer that technology. Many precautionary resources are available to boaters not only from us, but also our authorized dealer network and the United States Coast Guard. We encourage the best easy boating experience as possible, and in the safest possible way.

Online Boating Safety Courses

Before leaving the dock, it is essential that the boat operator is aware of the safety regulations, familiar with the boat and prepared to guard the safety of all passengers onboard. The BoatUS Foundation offers a variety of classes for all types of recreational boaters. Whatever form of boating you are passionate about, they have the capability to equip you for the best safe boating practices. The courses can be found on their website

Propeller Safety

Propulsion is an essential part of powering a boat, but can cause great damage if proper safety precautions are not taken. Providing some helpful safety practices when operating a vessel, watch this video from the United States Coast Guard Boating Safety website on propeller safety to learn more about the four most important actions to be aware of in order to boat safely with your vessel’s propeller.

Safety Gear Checklist

Certain items should be kept onboard at all times if a problem occurs, whether it’s a spare rope to secure your vessel or a whistle to signal for help. Unexpected complications can arise at any time, so keep these items in mind when planning your next boat ride.

  • U.S. Coast Guard approved Life Vests – Required by law, all personnel onboard a boat must have a life vest to save lives in an emergency situation. There are many different types of life vests that best suit children, different watersports and fishing, so be sure to do research and try it on before purchasing.
  • First aid kit –A well-equipped first aid kit onboard the boat, with basic knowledge of how to use it effectively, can make a difference in the event of an emergency. First aid kits can be ordered from the American Red Cross, or a variety of local stores, marinas and sport shops.
  • Ropes – In additional to the docking lines, extra ropes could be essential for pulling someone in who has fallen overboard, securing a boat in extreme weather and other situations. 
  • A Waterproof Whistle – This is recognized as call for help on the water, and should always be kept in an accessible location on the boat. 

Float Plan

Without a float plan, the safety of those on your boat are at risk if an emergency should happen while on the water. Disclosing your routing information, arrival and departure time, boat specifications and other details should be given to a designated person who will not be present on the boat. He or she is responsible for making sure that you and your passengers return safely, and have the information to help find a solution. A free downloadable float plan can be found here

Use Genuine Volvo Penta Parts

If you own a Volvo Penta engine, we encourage using Genuine Volvo Penta Parts to help ensure optimum safety, along with performance and reliability. Although aftermarket parts may often look the same as Genuine Volvo Penta Parts, slight variations in manufacturing can result in different performance and durability which can affect the safety of your vessel. We recommend to purchase parts from one of our local authorized Volvo Penta dealers, or our Parts Website.

Free Vessel Safety Check

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons offer free vessel safety checks to conveniently come to you. With no charge and no penalty if a boat does not pass, the safety check exists to keep you and your passengers as safe as possible by examining the vessel. Simply fill out a form, and a time of mutual convenience will be arranged for your boat’s safety to be examined.