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It's no secret that Northwestern Ontario is a boater's paradise. And now that boating season is in full swing, it’s important for eager boaters to keep safe and be mindful when on the water. To make your next outing an enjoyable one, always do these five things:

Be Insured Recreational boaters should consider buying a separate insurance policy for their vessel, versus adding it to your homeowner's policy. A policy specific to your boat will likely include marine specific risks such as wreck removal or environmental damage.

Underway Always be aware of other vessels sharing the waterway with you. When passing a slower vessel, do so with as much space as depth conditions will allow. When you’re being overtaken, slow your speed to accommodate the vessel and remember you’re responsible for your own wake and any damage caused by it.

Anchoring Enter slowly when anchoring and be mindful of your wake. Don’t get too close to anchored boats and determine your swing radius to avoid tangled lines. When anchored, keep noise levels to a minimum as sound carries over water.

Fuel Up Before you go anywhere, make sure your tank is topped up. The last thing you want is to have your fun interrupted, or be stranded somewhere.

Onboarding Before you leave the dock, ensure that there are a sufficient number of lifejackets of appropriate size for each passenger. Familiarize your passengers with safety and emergency procedures and remind your guests to wear weather appropriate clothing.

Whether you’re underway, anchoring or docking at a marina, practicing responsible boating etiquette can ensure a safe boating experience you, your passengers and those sharing the water.

Now get out there and enjoy the season!