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The summer season at Smith Mountain Lakeis quite a thrill that many boating novices and veterans alike look forward to annually. After all, Smith Mountain Lake (SML) is one of Virginia's purest, most beautiful, and peaceful lakes - an amazing place to spend a vacation or to reside all year round. Obviously, the vast 40-mile long lake with 500 miles of shoreline attracts a lot of people who enjoy boating.
With over 20,000 acres across the entire lake, there is plenty of room and the view is a breathtaking sight! As if that wasn't enough to attract a boat lover, pulling into one of SML's many little coves and taking a dip is another option as the water temperatures, mostly May - September, make it almost too hard to resist. Even if you don't have a boat of your own, but would like to try your hand at a spin on SML, marinas rent pontoon and other motorboats, ski boats, and even PWCs, commonly referred to as "jet skis".
Since this is the wrap-up of National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27, 2011), the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) would like to remind everyone to be responsible, be safe and have fun-in that order! Their advice to all boaters out there, during this week and all summer, is simple:
Break out those life jackets and wear them at all times while on the water. That is the number one recommended safety rule. Be sure the life jackets are in good condition and fit well, especially for children. According to VDGIF, annually some 80% of boating fatalities in Virginia would likely have been prevented if those individuals had been wearing their life jackets. It's a lifesaver - literally!
Don't Mix Drinking Alcohol with Boating
While boating, the sun, wavy waters, wind blowing, noise and other distractions can compound the effects of alcohol. Be sure to have a designated boat operator who is not under the influence of alcohol. If you choose to allow alcohol on your boat and have a designated boat operator, even a passenger indulging too heavily can cause a danger. Besides the obvious boat accident, other risks are falling overboard and even capsizing. Use extreme caution if allowing alcoholic beverages on your boat.
Take a Boating Safety Course
Virginia being a magnet for both powered boats and non-motorized boats as well, it is important for all who operate them to be familiar with the nautical jargon that accompanies the task. This is just one of the reasons VDGIF encourages all boaters to take a boating safety course. Not only can it provide the fundamental basics for safety in boating, but also can prepare boaters for emergencies, prevent them from being summoned for violations and even assist seasoned boaters in being on top of current regulations. Statewide, Virginia offers classes in traditional classroom settings, over the internet and even at-home study courses. Pick one that's convenient for you!
For more resources on boating safety or assistance in buying lakefront property, call me, Vicki Millehan. I have over 19 years of experience selling waterfront homes, and am a long-time resident of Smith Mountain Lake.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.