2 safety tips for those who want to take up boat racing

Posted on: 23 October 2018

If you are planning to start participating in boat races, you should keep the following safety tips in mind.

1. Make sure your boat is inspected by a marine engineer before every race 

It is very important to have one of your local marine engineers inspect your boat before every sporting event that you participate in with this watercraft. The reason for this is that any serious defects that the boat develops before a race could not only affect your performance in the event but could also endanger you and your fellow participants' safety.

For example, if the fluid lines that house your boat's hydraulic steering fluid spring a leak, and you don't have this issue fixed by a marine engineer before a race, you may find it much harder to steer your boat in the right direction during the event. Due to how fast you will be travelling, heading in the wrong direction (such as towards another boat, for example) for even just a couple of seconds could lead to a collision that could leave you and another one of the race participants badly injured.

Similarly, if the boat's engine components sustain damage as a result of saltwater-induced corrosion, and these components are not replaced by a marine engineer prior to one of your races, the engine could fail midway through the race, and you could end up stranded.

If the temperatures are low and it takes a while for the rescue team to locate you, you could end up developing hypothermia. Given this, it is vital to have your boat examined by a marine engineer before each and every race that you intend to participate in.

2. Invest in a high-quality lifejacket

It is also extremely important to invest in a high-quality lifejacket, as due to the speed with which your boat moves over the water during a race, you are far more likely to fall overboard than if you were travelling at a slower speed.

If you fall into the water while wearing a cheap lifejacket, there is a much greater chance that you will develop hypothermia, or swallow seawater and find yourself struggling to breathe. The lifejacket you wear during your races should, for example, cover the back of your head. This will reduce the amount of body that you lose via your head if you fall into the icy-cold water, which will, in turn, slow down the speed with which you develop hypothermia.

Additionally, your lifejacket should feature a 'spray hood', which you can pull over your head if you end up in the water. This hood will prevent seawater spray from entering your lungs if there are a lot of waves hitting you while you are in the sea.