It’s not over…until it’s over!

The air is cool – the days are shorter…it’s fall and heading towards the end of boating season in Colorado.

Around here, we all know that fall can be the best time of year around here, and that there’s nothing better than boating on a warm, sunny, fall afternoon.But after a full summer of boating fun-in-the-sun, make sure and take an inventory of all the safety essentials needed for your fall outings and double check that they are in good working order. Ropes get worn, life jackets go missing…check and confirm that you’re still safe to be on the water and operating within the legal statutes and regulations. says that 70% of boating accidents are caused by operator error…don’t add to that statistic!

HINT: This is also a good list to check before you put your boat away for the season so it’s ready for next spring

* Life Jackets – one US Coast Guard-Approved vest for every person on board (those under 13 years of age must wear them at all times)
* Fire Extinguisher – you KNOW why
* Duct Tape – the most versatile product when you need a quick fix
* Bucket – to bail you out – and for a myriad of other uses
* First Aid Kit – for accidents or medial emergencies
* Whistle – great when you need help and counts as your “must have” sound producing device
* Ropes – to tie off, to tie together, to strap down, to toss a line in an emergency
* Marine Radio – keep it tuned for information
* Mirror – an alternative, non-powered way to signal help
* Lights – with shorter days, you might need your navigation lights when you are coming in after a full day on the lake OR you might decide to “camp” on the lake overnight and will need a mooring light.

In Colorado, you must also have a current boat registration and visible registration numbers on the hull of the watercraft. To find out more about what’s required in Colorado, go to

Remember, fall weather can change quickly. Wind and waves can make docking tough. Take it slow – and remember there’s no shame if you need a second – or third – attempt. Know how to tie off securely so that you don’t break loose and damage the dock, someone else’s boat – or YOUR boat!

Still unsure? Take a free, online boaters safety quiz at