CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Blog

Insights and tips on how to protect your adventure sports business, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Hayden Ward
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Charter Fishing Tour Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Charter Fishing Tour Owners

There’s nothing quite like the first castoff from the boat. Excitement and anticipation fills the air with hope the first catch will be nothing but exceptional. With emotions running high, don’t let safety slip your mind when afloat with guests. Follow these tips to help ensure a safe day on the water with your crew.

Prepare the Boat

Prior to guests’ arrival, a deep clean of the boat and equipment should be completed. This includes a sanitation process for any seating and floor space. With COVID still being a concern, handrails and commonly touched objects, such as door knobs and fishing poles, should also be sanitized.

Take a moment to ensure all fishing gear and tackle are secure. All sharp hooks, lures, knives, and gaffs should be stowed in a locked compartment while the boat is running.

Inspect Safety Equipment

Safety comes first when on the water. Ensure your PFDs or life jackets are in good condition. Don’t forget to double-check you have the correct number of life jackets for those coming aboard. Once guests begin boarding, assign and fit each person with a life jacket.

Other safety equipment that needs to be inspected before heading out are flashlights, flares, fire extinguishers, a VHF radio, and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for testing these items. Pay attention to the expiration dates or manufactured codes on items that cannot be tested easily.

Always keep your first aid kit in a safe, dry, and easily accessible location. To avoid missing contents or running out while at sea, restock your kit before each tour. Make sure you and/or crew members know where the safety equipment is stored. Everyone on board should also know where and how to access the safety equipment. Being out on the water can be “fun-in-the-sun.” However, there are always the possibilities of a hook accident, someone becoming seasick, or even falling overboard.

Check the Weather

Check the weather frequently for any updates. Offshore weather conditions can change rapidly with no warning. To stay prepared, monitor the weather on your marine radio or live weather radar.

Crew members, the marina, or family members should be made aware of the float trip path. In the case of inclement weather, these people can help provide accurate information about your float plan to the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency.

Prep Your Group

Make your customers aware at least a day in advance before boarding to wear proper clothing and to lather up in sunscreen. The appropriate attire includes layered clothing, closed toe shoes, a hat, and a good pair of sunglasses. It is wise to advise your guests to employ water resistant attire to help them stay dry. There is always the chance of water spraying up on the boat or heading into a rain shower. Wearing the proper eyewear can help reduce glare from the sun and water. It can also protect eyes in the event a hook goes rogue.

Rain or shine, it is important to apply a heavy layer of sunscreen. Have sunscreen available on the boat, but recommend to guests they bring their own, especially if they have sensitive skin. Don’t forget to mention throughout the day to reapply frequently. Sunscreen wears off, and if you are on the water all day, you and your guests will need the protection.

Pack Food and Water

When prepping for going out with a group, pack plenty of water, food, and anything else you feel would help in the event you are on the boat for longer than expected.

Catch the Correct Coverage

Reel in the correct insurance coverage to keep your anglers business safe. CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sport offers an insurance program tailored to fishing outfitters and guides. Get the protection you need today and request a free CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sport Insurance quote. Adventure more and worry less with the right coverage!

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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