My advice to someone who is going to get into boating is take the time to familiarize yourself with the boat. Quite
frankly, there’s not a lot of training before someone gets turned loose and can run a boat. I would recommend that you have someone who’s experienced and get
on the boat with them and practice. Practice and practice. Ask them, “Where’s the battery to do jump starts? Where’s the siphon hose to do fuel drops?” Make sure
your PFDs are in order and accessible. Check your fuel. The boater needs to
check their fuel.Where is your paperwork? Where can you plug in stuff?
Where are all the circuit breakers for the various things you need? Have your
cell phone fully charged or at least have a charging cord with you on the
boat so you can plug it in. That’s another common thing people will call
and say – “My cell phone’s about to die.” And then we lose them. Keep a lookout for when the TowBoatUS boat arrives. I’ve quite often driven past customers
because they haven’t waved me down as I’ve gone by. They’ll just give me a
nice friendly wave and I’ll go by and have no idea that I just went by the
people I was supposed to stop and help. I think a boater should take it upon
themselves to learn not only from the book, which is required for the test now,
but operationally, there’s quite a difference from reading a book about how
to dock and actually getting on a boat and doing so.