Gentlemen Start Your BOAT Engines - Memorial Day Starts Boating Season
20 May 2000National Safe Boating Week Set for May 22-26
TORRANCE, Calif. - With Memorial Day Weekend the traditional start of the boating season, many of the more than 11 million water skiers and wake boarders will take to the lakes and rivers to enjoy their favorite sport. Toyota Marine, which makes the Epic line of ski and sportabout boats, along with the U.S. Congress and the rest of the marine industry is promoting May 22-26 as National Safe Boating Week to help ensure an enjoyable boating experience. One of those 11 million water ski enthusiasts is Toyota Pro Skier Jaret Llewellyn, the No. 1-ranked ski flier in the world. On May 14, he set a jump record when he soared 299 feet, farther than any skier has ever soared in national competition. This high-flying skier offers the following advice: "Skiing for the first time each year is often a bittersweet experience," says Llewellyn. "Check your boat and gear before you head to the water. When you1re ready to launch isn't the time to discover the drain plug is missing or that the battery needs charging." -- Check your equipment. Make certain it's all in good shape and that the ski rope you thought was onboard hasn't been borrowed for another use. -- Make certain there's a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device onboard for each passenger. Marine dealers can provide a checklist of what safety and comfort items should be carried onboard. -- Don't overload your boat. It's unsafe and the boat won't perform properly. -- Be a good neighbor when launching and retrieving. Ramps are busy places, so load or unload your gear in the parking lot, not when you've backed the trailer in the water at the ramp. -- Even if you're familiar with a body of water, check with local officials first on the best places to go. Some areas might be set aside for other use or ramps could be under construction. For more information on water skiing or wakeboarding and a free Toyota boat brochure, write: Toyota Marine, Box 14390, Scottsdale, AZ 85267.