Bald Ridge Marina promotes boating safety, and as such, we have included information contained in the
2012 Handbook of Georgia Boating Laws and Responsibilities. Bald Ridge Marina takes no responsibility for errors of inclusion or omission in the Boating Safety section of our handbook. You should always check for the most up to date rules and regulations by visiting the state’s web site at: http://www.boat-ed.com/ga/handbook/index.htm. You can also visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources at: http://www.goboatgeorgia.com
As a boat owner, you’re encouraged to know the "rules of the road" and use safe boating practices. If you're new to boating or want a refresher course, consider taking a boating safety class. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources offers an online class at http://www.boat-ed.com/georgia/index.html. For the current class schedule, contact the DNR at 770-535-5499.
The DNR also offers free boat inspections. A DNR Ranger will check that you have all of the safety equipment required and recommend optional equipment that will make your boating experience safer and more comfortable. The Ranger will also verify that you have the proper registration for your boat. This service is offered as a courtesy- you will not be penalized for any violations that may be found at the time of the free inspection.
You may also contact the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for boating certification classes. They offer free vessel safety checks as well. For more information on classes or vessel safety checks, contact Pat Lindsey at 770-271-4059 or visit www.a0700209.uscgaux.info.
The Atlanta Sail & Power Squadron also offers free vessel safety checks and advanced boating courses, including Piloting, Weather and Marine Communications Systems. For more information, visit their website at www.atlantasboatingclub.com or call 770-734-6412.Page Break
Always check the capacity plate, which is usually found near the operator's position or on the vessel's transom. This plate indicates the maximum weight capacity and maximum number of people that the vessel can carry safely.
PWCs and some other vessels are not required to have a capacity plate. Always follow the recommended capacity in the owner's manual and on the manufacturer's warning decal.
Fueling a Vessel
Never fuel at night unless it is an emergency. If you must refuel after dark, use only electric lights. Try to refuel away from the water or on a commercial fueling ramp.
Before beginning to fuel: Dock the boat securely and ask all passengers to exit. Do not allow anyone to smoke or strike a match. Check all fuel lines, connections, and fuel vents. Turn off anything that might cause a spark—engines, fans, or electrical equipment. Shut off all fuel valves and extinguish all open flames, such as galley stoves and pilot lights. Close all windows, ports, doors, and other openings to prevent fumes from entering the boat. Remove portable fuel tanks and fill them on the dock. While filling the fuel tank: Keep the nozzle of the fuel-pump hose in contact with the tank opening to prevent producing a static spark. Avoid spilling fuel into the boat's bilge or the water. Never fill a tank to the brim—leave room to expand. The most important safe fueling practice: If your vessel is equipped with a power ventilation system, always turn it on for at least four minutes after fueling and before starting your engine to remove gas vapors in the bilge. After fueling: Wipe up any spilled fuel. Open all windows, ports, doors, and other openings. Additional Safety Procedures for PWCs Do not tip the PWC in order to fill it all the way up. If the tank is overfilled, the fuel may expand and spill into the water. After fueling, open the door of the engine compartment and lightly sniff to check for any evidence of gas fumes. Do this before starting the engine. If you do smell gas fumes, determine the source and make repairs immediately. Pre-Departure Checklist
You can help assure a good time while operating your vessel by performing this pre-departure check.
Check the weather forecast for the area and timeframe during which you will be boating. Make sure that the steering and throttle controls operate properly and all lights are working properly. Check for any fuel leaks from the tank, fuel lines, and carburetor. Check the engine compartment for oil leaks. Check hose connections for leaks or cracks, and make sure hose clamps are tight. Drain all water from the engine compartment, and be sure the bilge plug is replaced and secure. Check to be sure you have a fully charged engine battery and fire extinguishers. If so equipped, make sure the ignition safety switch and wrist lanyard are in good order. Make sure you have the required number of personal flotation devices (PFDs), and check that they are in good condition. Leave a float plan with a reliable friend or relative. The '100-Foot Law'
The '100-Foot Law' applies to all vessels. The law prohibits people from operating any vessel at a speed greater than idle within 100 feet of any vessel which is moored, anchored or adrift outside normal traffic channels, or within 100 feet of any dock, pier, piling, bridge structure or abutment, person in the water, or shoreline adjacent to a residence, public park, public beach, public swimming area, marina, restaurant or other public use area. The law also makes it illegal for boat operators to jump the wake of another boat within 100 feet, to buzz other boats or to change or reverse their course in order to ride or jump in the wake of another vessel.
Help on the Water
You can get assistance by using your cell phone, using Channel 16 on your VHF radio, or by signaling a nearby boat. If you need towing services, you can call: TowBoat U.S. 770-945-2884
IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY, CALL 911.
Please remember: you must be able to tell the towing service or emergency personnel where you are in order to receive assistance in a timely manner. Always carry a lake map and be able to specify your location.
Georgia Required Equipment Checklist