As a dealer, customers look to you as a leader within the recreational boating community, and for that reason it is important you champion safe boating practices and compliance with all state and local laws and regulations. Ultimately, we want you to feel confident as a business owner and your customers to feel the same level of comfort out on the water. When your customers are informed, educated and familiar with their vessels and state boating laws, your dealership can feel assured that you have contributed to a safer overall recreational boating community. This in turn will keep your customers boating longer and keep more folks in your dealership and on the water. To help with that, check out the resources below.
Tips to help make your customer’s experience on the water safer
- Host Boating Basics Course
- Consider holding regular classes that teach your customers, both new and experienced, how to safely and properly operate their vessels. Including on the water training is a great way to add extra value to a new boaters purchase while making them feel comfortable and confident at the helm. If your dealership is short on personnel, check to see if there is a certified boating safety instruction in your area by clicking here.
- BoatU.S. Foundation Hosting
- BoatU.S. Foundation is also looking for partners to host on the water safety courses, and your dealership may be the perfect venue. BoatU.S. Foundation has launched an initiative to deliver On-Water training with the intent of developing a national program. They are looking for several partners to conduct events around the country and are currently seeking venues. Typically, these events draw between 40-60 students per day and are a great opportunity to market your facility or boat inventory. All you need to provide are 4–6 boats to be used for instruction, access to bathrooms, have available parking for attendees and open slips or a header pier for practice docking. BoatU.S. Foundation will provide licensed USCG instructors trained in the approved curriculum, will market the event, handle all registration and billing and provide day of support with BoatU.S. Foundation team members. It also provides all relevant materials for the course, including life jackets, promo items and is fully insured. If you are interested in bringing safety to your customers, reach out to Alan Dennison at email@example.com or call 410-972-3004.
- Advocate for Life Jackets
- Although most boaters choose not to, wearing a life jacket while boating is one of the easiest ways to stay safe. Be a leader in your community and encourage your customers and the boating public to wear a life jacket while on the water. The National Safe Boating Council has a variety of resources, from flyers, pamphlets, draft social media posts, videos and more, click here to check it out.
- Put Safety on Social
- As a dealer your customers pay attention to your social channels. Aside from advertising about the latest models and deals you have; be sure you highlight the importance of smart and safe boating. Check out this social media toolkit to help you share the importance of boating safety with your community.
E15 Fuel – Attention Dealers!
As the boating seasons continues, it is important to remind your customers of the dangers of refueling with E15 fuel, which is available at pumps this season. Accidentally refueling with this type of fuel can spell disaster for your customers’ boats. Click here to learn more from our Blog and feel free to share this with your customers.
Mandatory Boater Education
As the boating season floats on, it’s important to keep your customers safe while they are enjoying themselves on the water. Minnesota and South Carolina recently enacted new mandatory boater education legislation. Here’s a complete breakdown by state. or simply needing a refresher on safe boating practices, the below resources will help your customers stay safer on the water and comply with state boating laws. To learn more about the new mandatory boater education requirements in Minnesota, read our blog.
Discover Boating has generated resources to help new boaters understand their vessel and stay safe on the water. Share these resources with your customers to assist with boating safety, boating etiquette, operation and ownership.
National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Safe Boating Dashboard
You and your customers can use this complete guide to simplify the boating laws within each state and search for approved boater education courses.
- Safe Boating Dashboard
- What are the requirements for life jacket in my state?
- What are the education requirements for my state?
- What boating education courses are approved in my state?
Boat On Course
Created by the National Safe Boating Council, Boat On Course helps new owners understand the “rules of the road” as a boater. Complete with videos, graphics and various lessons, this resource is a great introduction and refresher on safe-boating tactics for your customers.
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) has a “Get Started Boating” section on its site that helps customers know where to boat and fish, best practices for success and boat types. This page also includes a special section on Boating and Water Safety, complete with safety tips, checklists and more, you can use to supply your customers to help them with boat operation and ownership. Its Places to Fish and Boat page is also loaded with helpful tools (interactive map) and advice to help consumers create more successful fishing adventures from their boat.
RBFF also has a customer retention toolkit with customizable free content for you to add your logo to get your customers on board. Choose from digital banners, social media posts, press releases, infographics and a PSA video.
Your role in Advocacy & Boating Safety
As a boat dealer and a pillar of your community, your business plays a key role in advocating for boating and fishing, and championing safe boating practices. By creating an educational environment around boating basics, successful practices for safe operation and adherence to compliance with local laws, you’re creating a better experience for your customers and helping to keep them boating safer and longer. Knowing boater education and sharing it, along with your staff’s own expertise, will contribute to your customers making informed decisions and creating lasting memories aboard their boat. These efforts help you to create long-term customer relationships and more well-versed recreational boating community.
I encourage you to reach out to me – firstname.lastname@example.org – about advocacy issues or to discuss boater education and how it pertains to making your customers happier and boating longer!