It can make for a truly memorable time to gather a group of companions and head out on the open sea to take in this uniquely beautiful landscape. If a group rents their own watercraft, they have a fair amount of flexibility in terms of where they go and how much time they spend there, while a tour is limited to a specific duration and points of interest.
Safety rules to protect both the boaters and the craft will need to be observed. Usually each rental business has their own list of rules and there will also be some local regulations which apply to all users which must be followed in order to keep the waters a safe place for everyone.
Renters will be presented with several papers that must be signed before they can use the agency's watercraft. Signing these forms indicates the user's agreement to abide by all safety rules and not operate the boat at speeds exceeding 5 knots in all areas designated "no wake zones" where it is prohibited to accelerate boats in such a manner that waves are created. The consumption of alcohol should also be avoided while driving watercraft.
Choosing to deal only with companies that are licensed and registered is safest. One can look online for customer reviews for any companies they are considering to find out what others have to say about them, and consult the Department of Tourism for listings of reputable rental agencies.
Before setting sail, a company representative will familiarize the customer with all of the boat's equipment and instruments. If the renter does not believe that he or she can safely operate it, then it's best to hire a local, experience captain to do so instead. Not only is this the safest option, but also a good opportunity to learn some interesting facts about the island one would otherwise not know.
It's also prudent to verify that all essential safety equipment such as life jackets and a first aid kit, is present, complete, and fully operational before one set sail. There must also be a functional cell phone on board with emergency numbers for the local marina and police. Having a basic working knowledge of seafaring terms such as boat directions like bow, starboard, port, and stern is also a good idea.
Buoys are commonly used to mark safe waterways and indicate direction, so it's necessary to recognize what each type signifies. Typically, they map out where boaters are to travel, the spaces in between two buoys are navigable channels. As one heads out from shore, green buoys with flashing lights will be on their left and red ones on their right, when returning to land, the opposite arrangement is true.
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