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July 4th Tips For a Fun and Safe Weekend on the Water

Author: Colleen Richardson


Flag Day

The Fourth of July holiday is one of the biggest celebrations of summer and with more than 87 million Americans hitting the water each year, many will find themselves celebrating on a boat this weekend. Whether you’re out every weekend or you’ve been invited aboard a friend or relative’s boat, here’s some helpful tips before climbing aboard.

Safety first: Busy waterways are likely this weekend, so remember to use common sense – operate at a safe speed, stay alert & steer clear of large vessels and watercraft, plus avoid alcohol on the water as its effects are exacerbated by sun and wind. Get schooled on more safety tips and take our safe boating quiz here.

Look like a pro: Pop quiz! Is the port the left or right side of the boat? Where is the helm? Learn all this and more through this helpful video to brush up on your boat lingo. If you’re new to the water impress your captain this weekend and learn a few simple knots. Here’s some videos to help you master the cleat hitch and the clove hitch.

Boat essentials: Your captain will thank you for thinking ahead and bringing the necessities. Here’s a quick checklist of what you should bring aboard this weekend:

  • Tote bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Towels
  • Water
  • Camera (or GoPro)
  • Wallet, Keys, Phone
  • Seasick remedies (try ginger gum, candies or soda)
  • Snacks (make sure they are boat friendly – do they melt, stain?)

Want to go the extra mile? Make sure to bring some extra cash to chip in for gas or create the perfect on-water playlist, check out our top ten boating tunes to get started. Make sure to coordinate with your captain before packing up.

What to wear: Let’s start with boat shoes. While they are fashionable they’re also designed to keep you from slipping on wet surfaces and they don’t leave scuff marks on the boat. Your host will thank you. Be sure to dress accordingly for boating out in the sun, but remember, once the evening firework show starts, temperatures will probably drop. So don’t forget to bring extra layers. To see some more style tips, hop over to our nautical fashion blog. 

Download a boating app: There are plenty of mobile applications for boating from weather to map charting to nautical lingo and more. Check out our helpful list of Apple and Android apps you can download before your boat outing.

If you don’t have any boating plans for the weekend yet, there’s still time. Learn about opportunities to rent, charter, take lessons and more in your area with our get on the water tool.

2 thoughts on “July 4th Tips For a Fun and Safe Weekend on the Water

  1. Jordan

    Some great advice here! Holidays in the summer are some of the busiest times of year for lakes – so it’s important to know how to handle the crowds and make sure both you and your boat make it out ok!

  2. Lauren Woodley

    Thank you for sharing so many great boat safety tips. Specifically, you talk about how downloading boating apps are really helpful, and I would agree! Since you suggest there are things like weather and map charting, downloading these apps can help you to be able to prepare yourself and your boat for the conditions on the water and make sure that you are practicing proper safety habits.


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