We all know not every boating trip runs as smooth as we want it to. Sometimes trouble finds you and you can’t avoid it. When it happens, usually we’re at the wrong place at the wrong time. All of that stress and worry takes you away from the only reason you bought a boat in the first place, to have some fun!
Avoid what you can’t see! Try not to smack into things out on the water. It’s true that you can’t see everything below the waterline, but if you maintain an awareness given the weather, time of day, where you are and any unusual local conditions, you’re much less likely to have an accident.
Keep an eye out! When navigating a vessel some may see a float that’s drifted away from another party or a buoy that’s just in your line of sight and think, “Those are harmless if I can’t get out of the way in time, it’s no big deal.” It’s definitely a big deal! Don’t run into or over buoys or other floats that can damage your boat and wrap around the propshaft. Running over anything while in your boat can be a nuisance further down the road.
Maintaining a good lookout! You will be able to see debris of all sorts in the water. Look for disturbances in the surface of the water this will provide you with clues as to what’s beneath.
Proceed with caution! This may seem so simple to remember, but you would be surprised. Don’t forget to slow down and take your time. Even if you’re confident you’re in open waters. Talk to friends who have been on the water recently, or marina personnel who are often the first people to learn about what boaters are seeing, or running into when they’re cruising in nearby water ways.
Besides being the most obvious points of them all, we will always put up a friendly reminder to Drive Sober. Driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is illegal. It reduces your ability to manage the three points above and increases the chances that unfortunate things will happen to you, your passengers, and your boat.
The points are here to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time out on your boat. You may be thinking that these are all common sense. But one can never be too careful out on the unpredictable water!