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Make boating safety a family affair, from the smallest sailor right up to the captain, by acquainting them with the use of the boating safety equipment.

Take every family member old enough to run the boat through an exercise on how to operate it safely. Teach them to run the blower before starting the engine, how to operate the lights and what the proper horn signals are. Handling lines and proper knots may be taught to those able to help with getting to and away from the dock.

Get the life jackets out and check for wear or damaged flotation. Each family member should examine their own. Youngsters grow each year and adult dimensions change so try them on and

Know how to read the gauge on a fire extinguisher. If you have an outdated extinguisher, replace it. If you have one that needs service, have it serviced. Do a demonstration showing the proper use. This will be educational and helpful if they ever need to fight a fire.

Use an expired hand-held flare to demonstrate how to light them and why they must be held over the side, away from the boat.

Check and replenish your first-aid kit. Review the use of everything in the kit and where it is stored.

Explain all the electronics to your crew. Demonstrate how to place a MayDay call on the VHF radio. Explain what situations are an emergency and exactly how to call for help.

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