Top 8 Boating Mistakes: What Not To Do
It’s easy to do – we all make mistakes. That’s just part of being human. To get the most fun and enjoyment from your days boating on rivers and lakes, though, listed below are some tips on boating mistakes to avoid from experienced boaters who have learned the hard way.
Tips to Avoid Embarrassing Boating Mistakes
Don’t Forget to Put in the Boat’s Drain Plug
If you do, you’re going to end up sinking your boat as the water pours in. Sounds simple? Yes, it’s one of the first steps in Boating 101. No one, however, is immune from making boating mistakes. Failing to do the simplest tasks is often what gets us in trouble most.
Take Out Enough Line When Anchoring
Remember when you were frustrated in math class, and you wanted to know what in the world you were going to use all that math for in real life? Well, this is one answer. When anchoring your boat, you must calculate the amount of line (scope) needed to do that correctly.
You’ll need to know the depth of the water you are in during calm times, and multiply by between 5 and 7, and then add the distance between where the anchor attaches to the bow and the surface. If you are in rough weather conditions, you should multiply by 10. Or else … the consequences could be drifting farther out than desired or running aground!
Don’t Get Lost in the Dark
Many would-be sailors leave shore in the daylight and end up returning after a full day of fun but in the dark! A savvy skipper will make a few practice runs at night to become familiar with the surroundings before taking guests out. Pay attention to the time and if you are returning in the dark and you don’t know where you are, always have a VHF-FM marine radio with you to call for help.
Carry Nautical Charts and/or Maps
Remember that digital charts (that work with a GPS or a computer) require batteries to use; paper charts don’t, plus they are cheaper to purchase. Either way, have some nautical guidance onboard.
Don’t Carry Too Many Passengers for the Size of Your Boat
Unfortunately, this seems to be common among boating mistakes that many people make – trying to fit too many guests onto your boat. You either need a bigger boat or you will have to make more trips.
You know the maximum capacity limit of your boat; make sure you adhere to it and boating guidelines. Also, anything heavy you are loading in the boat, make sure it’s sitting low and as close to the center of the boat as possible.
Maintain Your Boat with Regular Check-Ups
Boats, like cars and people, need regular check-ups. Ensuring that everything checks out alright before each and every trip can avoid a hiccup while you’re out on the water.
Check How Much Gas is in Your Boat
Again, like cars, boats need energy (gas) to operate. Always check the amount of gas in your boat before heading out (especially with a group of people) for a day of fun and sun on the water.
One of the Biggest Boating Mistakes: Hitting the Dock
When it comes to docking your boat, guide it in slowly. This takes caution, precision, and experience. Practice a few times before taking a group out or you’ll likely get a lot of “ribbing” from your friends, along with some possible boat and/or dock damage.
Make a list and check it twice (yes, just like Santa!) to help ensure no problems ensue while you and your guests are out enjoying a day on the lake. Adhere to the boating guidelines to ensure a smooth day from boating mistakes.
AccuDock has experience with “all things boating” so if there’s anything you need that can help you have a better day on the lake or river, call AccuDock at 1-954-785-7557. We have customizable docking solutions, gangways, and ramps that can help you and your passengers get safely onto the boat and safely back on land.